Erie County allowing permitted restaurants to offer indoor dining, with restrictions

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County Department of Health says “yellow zone” criteria will now be applied to “all permitted food service facilities that are currently located in ‘orange zones.'”

“Practically, this means all restaurants in Erie County will be able to offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, as long as yellow zone measures, including a maximum of four people per table and six feet of distance between tables are maintained,” the Department of Health wrote.

This decision comes after dozens of local restaurants sued the state. New York State Supreme Court Justice Henry Nowak ruled in favor of the restaurants, allowing them to offer indoor dining.

The Erie County Department of Health says this is effective as long as Judge Nowak’s injunction is in place. If an appellate court rules differently, all restaurants in the county must follow suit.

A curfew of 10 p.m. will remain in effect, per state regulations. This applies to concession stands, too, including those at Bills Stadium.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw released a statement on the changes.

“In no way am I thankful to politicians relaxing COVID closures.

Governor Cuomo and Mark Poloncarz pushed and punished long suffering businesses enough.  Gyms, salons, bars, and restaurants fought back.  It is sad that in the freest country in the world, businesses had to sue their own government to open and make a living.

Being grateful to politicians relaxing COVID restrictions is like having someone stepping on your neck.  Blocking you from breathing.  Then giving them credit for saving your life when they take their foot off your throat.

New York State and Erie County must open fully.  Now.  Stop these bogus closures and restrictions not even based in facts or data.  Businesses have suffered enough.”

Stefan Mychajliw

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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