Hudson Valley businesses applaud easing of COVID restrictions
Business across the Hudson are hoping to get back on their feet as COVID-19 restrictions are being eased.
From a late night dinner to movies and more, so many people just want to get back to normal life, and business owners finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
As of Monday night, bars and restaurants in the Hudson Valley can stay open later. The COVID-19 curfew has been extended by an hour to midnight. Capacity will still be limited to 75%.
There is no word on when the state plans to increase capacity.
Catering venues are also now allowed to stay open one hour later until 1 a.m.
The latest extension comes just a week after the state lifted curfews for gyms and movie theaters.
There was a celebration at Saints & Scholars in Yonkers Monday night.
They say they're so excited for more late nights like this - and hopefully fewer restrictions as soon as cases go down.
"From 11 p.m. to 12 a.m., we could possibly do 100 cocktails, which is a lot of money. You know what I mean? To pay the bills. It's expensive running a restaurant," says Saints & Scholars co-owner Aidan Loughran.
It's a win for staff as well, as more service hours equals more tips.
Next week, movie theaters will be able to invite 33% inside.
The capacity limit for large arenas will also be raised to 25% in one month.
And museums, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens can increase capacity to 50%.
At the Katonah Museum of Art, the staff is also gearing up for a big change.
Last March, the museum completely shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They reopened at 25% capacity in July and recently went to 33%. Visits have been conducted on a time-ticketed entry system and the slots often sell out, so increasing to 50% will make a difference. "This just allows us to have more slots available to have more tickets available for people to come into the museum," says Michael Gitlitz, Katonah Museum of Art director.
And while the museum staff had to get creative with virtual and online programs, they all agree, it's just not the same as getting to visit in person. "It's not just the art itself, but it's the atmosphere, the environment, that the art and museum create which is bringing people together," says Gitlitz.