Andrew Cuomo orders New York bars, restaurants to close at 10 p.m.

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NEW YORK – Restaurants, bars and gyms will have to close at 10 p.m. across New York state in the latest effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

The governor said people will also be barred from hosting private gatherings with more than 10 people.

Cuomo said the new restrictions, which go into effect Friday, are necessary because new coronavirus infections have been traced to those types of activities. Businesses can reopen each morning.

“Bars, restaurants, gyms, house parties, that’s where it’s coming from, primarily,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo spoke as rates of coronavirus infection continued to rise in New York and elsewhere. He said 1,628 people were hospitalized across the state for COVID-19 on Tuesday and that 21 people died.

The new closing time applies to all establishments that are licensed by the State Liquor Authority, Cuomo said. Only carry-out service will be allowed after that, he said.

The new restrictions will have to be enforced by local governments, including by the police in New York City, Cuomo said. He said that after 10 p.m., “If the lights are on and people are drinking, they get a summons.”

Even without the early closing time, restaurateurs have complained that the restrictions make it difficult to stay in business. But Cuomo said further restrictions, including limiting restaurants to opening at 25% capacity across the state, may be necessary if COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.

Cuomo’s announcement came days after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that bars and restaurants in his state would have to halt indoor dining at 10 p.m. starting Thursday.

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