Governor loosens closing time restriction for eateries

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has further loosened coronavirus restrictions on New York restaurants in response to a recent dip in infections.

The Democratic governor said on Friday that restaurants and bars will now be able to stay open until 11 p.m. starting Sunday. The previous cutoff was 10 p.m.

The announcement comes after one earlier this week saying that restaurants could reopen indoor dining at 25 percent capacity starting Friday to go along with existing outdoor dining. Indoor dining had been prohibited since mid-December when COVID-19 cases started surging.

Cuomo had said restaurateurs had asked for the ban on indoor dining to be lifted in February to let them cash in on Valentine’s Day.

The governor said on Friday that the state’s infection rate is the lowest since Nov. 30.

By Paul Wager