The New York Post:
Big Apple eatery owners — already struggling to cope with a second shutdown of indoor dining amid the coronavirus pandemic — were thrown into a panic Thursday night when the Cuomo administration dropped new rules that barred patrons in outdoor spaces from using their indoor bathrooms.
The initial guidance, released publicly by Kapil Longani, counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, stated that “customers are not allowed to enter the inside of an SLA-licensed establishment for any reason while the guidance is in effect.”
To the dismay of some eatery owners, the guidance indicated that even the bathrooms would be off-limits.
“If my SLA-licensed establishment is offering outdoor dining, may I allow customers to use the bathroom inside?” reads one of the questions on the document.
“No,” the reply states. “Customers may not enter the inside of the establishment for any reason.”
The regulation threw one city restaurant, Il Posto Accanto on the Lower East Side, into a tailspin.
“The NYSLA new guidance for indoor dining states that customers may not enter the restaurant to use the restroom!!!” said a post on the eatery’s Instagram page. “Please Contact Governor Cuomo and all of our elected officials….This is not human!!!!!”
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, blasted the guidance as “another example of why restaurants and bars feel like government is purposely kicking them in the gut and then stopping on their hand when they’re already down.”