Great news: all restaurants in the Utica/Rome area will be able to increase their dining capacity to 75 percent for indoor dining this month

After carefully reviewing data from across the state, Governor Cuomo announced on Sunday, March 7 in a press release that restaurants will soon be able to up their capacity to 75 percent. This change comes while restaurants in the area are currently operating at 50 percent, and includes all communities outside of New York City.

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"Our fight in the war against COVID-19 continues, but we are encouraged by the decrease in infection and hospitalization rates and the rise in vaccinations," Governor Cuomo said.

As we expand our vaccine distribution and celebrate the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we have never been closer to defeating this beast once and for all. It is critical that New Yorkers not succumb to COVID fatigue and remain vigilant. Until the day the war is won, we all need to continue the practices we know work - washing hands, social distancing and masking up. The numbers are a reflection of our actions and when we work together, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The dining capacity restrictions that have been in place in the recent past forced many Utica/Rome restaurants to rethink their immediate business plans. Several are still offering only take-out, with dine-in not currently available. The increase to capacity may allow them to open their doors to customers if they feel comfortable doing so.

Georgio's Village Cafe in New Hartford, along with the Tailor and The Cook in Utica, are two restaurants that just recently reopened their dining rooms for seating hungry customers.

The new capacity limits take effect on March 19, 2021.

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