The crazy things bars in New York are selling to stay open
Lockdown restrictions were hitting them hard, but things have just got harder
Just when you thought things were starting to get back to normal, we are starting to see measures put in place to accommodate the ever changing "Covid climate".
New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has issued an executive order stating that those visiting bars must purchase food, they can't just pop in for a drink. Customers also need to be seated and be spaced at least 6ft apart, or have a physical barrier separating them.
In relation to the new measures, Governor Cuomo said: "As we continue our science-based phased reopening, the number of hospitalizations and our rate of positive tests remain steady and low but we need to remember our success fighting this virus is a function of our own actions. Mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing—basic as they may seem—are critical to controlling the spread of this virus."
The number of positive cases in the city has remained at around 750 per day and the positive test rate is less than 2%. This is obviously something he wants to not only maintain, but build on and aim to improve.
As part of the 'Three Strikes and You're Closed' initiative, these rules will be strictly enforced, with businesses who violate this three times forced to close their doors till restrictions are eased. Those found to be blatantly ignoring the rules could be closed down before they reach the three strikes. Members of the public are being urged to report any violations, with photos, as well as the authorities regularly checking in.
Adapt and overcome: What are bars doing to cope?
As you might imagine, in a bar environment, most people are not there for the nosh. Rather than bars going through the financial turmoil of having to stay closed, a number of places have hurriedly set up a $1 'Cuomo menu'.
On these menus, you can expect to find delights such as 'a handful of croutons', 'Cuomo chips' and 'a piece of meat'.
In response, the New York State Liquor Authority was forced to issue guidance on what they deemed to be a sufficient amount of food:
This has been met with some suitably sarcastic, but suitable nonetheless, adaptations.