Assemblywoman Giglio: Bill to Lift Restaurant and Bar Restrictions a Big Step Toward Economic Recovery for the East End

Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R,C,I-Riverhead) announced she is supporting a bill to allow East End restaurants, bars and catering halls to fully open to help local businesses recover in the wake of the COVID shutdown.

According to the New York State Restaurant Association, about one out of every six restaurants in New York have been forced out of business thanks to the restrictions and lockdown orders issued by Gov. Cuomo. In addition, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli reported more than 160,000 people working in the restaurant industry have lost their jobs. 

“I have joined my Assembly colleagues in supporting a bill to overturn the arbitrary mandates that have unnecessarily hurt restaurants and bars on the East End,” Giglio said. “If we are to fully recover from the economic damage caused by the pandemic shut down, these businesses must be allowed to open past 11 p.m. and the requirement that customers have to purchase food with their beverages must be lifted.

“As COVID infection rates continue to decline and more and more New Yorkers are getting vaccinated, it’s time to lift Cuomo’s curfews,” Giglio said. “Patrons and staff will continue to follow safety protocols and New Yorkers have always had the option of not going out if they don’t feel safe. The fact is, states like Florida that don’t have such draconian measures have done just fine protecting citizens and getting their economies back on track.”

Giglio stated that the executive orders put in place by Gov. Cuomo are one of the reasons the Assembly Minority fought so hard to return his emergency powers back to the elected legislators. On the East End, the arbitrary and ever-changing mandates enacted by the governor have crippled the economy, with many small businesses fearful that this year’s tourist season may not be enough to keep them out of bankruptcy.

“Since he won’t listen to the plight of the restaurant and bar owners, we are moving to lift his mandates legislatively,” said Giglio. “We cannot go on like this. The governor has been mired in scandal due to his tragic COVID decisions and multiple sexual harassment allegations. It’s time for him to lead, follow or get out of way.”