Coronavirus

Taking the Piss: New York Briefly Bans Diners From Using Restaurant Bathrooms

New York quickly reversed its ludicrous bathroom ban following backlash from the hospitality industry and anyone with a little common sense.

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New York City's outdoor dining patrons who needed to relieve themselves were left out in the cold briefly by a state policy that forbade them from using a restaurant's indoor bathroom.

On Thursday, the city, through the Office of the Counsel to the Mayor, issued a guidance FAQ to help restaurants understand Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order shutting down indoor dining in the city this past Monday, as well as guidance from the State Liquor Authority (SLA) interpreting that order.

Among those FAQs was a question asking, "If my SLA-licensed establishment is offering outdoor dining, may I allow customers to use the bathroom inside?" The answer was an emphatic no. "No. Customers may not enter the inside of the establishment for any reason," reads the document.

The same document also made clear that restaurant staff were not allowed to share meals together. Employees were barred from eating or drinking at bars, in dining rooms, or other areas of their workplace that are used by the public. (Better that they eat their shift meal in a crowded kitchen, I guess.)

This FAQ document and the underlying state guidance sparked fierce criticism from restaurant advocates.

"The new guidance issued by [New York State] and shared by [New York City] on the indoor dining shutdown is another example of why restaurants and bars feel like government is purposely kicking them in the gut and then stopping [sic] on their hand when they're already down," said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, on Twitter last night. "This is absurd and must be fixed ASAP."

The guidance elicited no small amount of controversy from Twitter users as well.

In response, members of Mayor Bill de Blasio's press team said on Twitter Friday morning that they had asked the state to revise its guidance, which it apparently did within a few hours.

The SLA's own FAQ on Cuomo's indoor dining ban now unequivocally states that customers can in fact use a restaurant's bathroom.

The reversal is obviously a good thing for restaurants and diners alike. The state's speed in ditching this ridiculous restriction is commendable.

That a bathroom ban was ever imposed, however briefly, is nevertheless evidence of how arbitrary and heavy-handed Cuomo's public health restrictions on restaurants and bars have been. He's required customers to order food before they can be served drinks, then micromanaged what kind of food they have to order. He's dragged his feet on reopening indoor dining in New York City until the local government assigned thousands of cops to enforce social distancing rules.

This week, as mentioned, he's banned indoor dining in the city despite bars and restaurants being responsible for only 1.4 percent of COVID-19 infections, according to the state's own contact tracing data.

It's fortunate that New York City diners can now pee inside restaurants. Maybe they should be allowed to eat in them too.

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  1. Why are courts not stomping Cuomo down? He’s clearly pulling this stuff out of his ass. He’s stomping on the sheer concept of rights.

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    2. I think since the Biden win the Left has felt smug and empowered to do and say anything. So obey or your name goes on a list for the education camps.

      1. Fortunately, education has been shut down – – – – – – – – – – – –

        1. To do otherwise, according the the Chicago Teachers Union, is racist and misogynistic and something else.

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    3. The “science”!

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    5. They will… in several months once it no longer matters. And same with other states where it was already stomped down, he’ll just reissue the order with basically the same previsions, claim its a new order, and then take another 5-6 months to work it through the courts.

      There’s no consequences for government hacks, after all.

      1. That is how it goes in Michigan.

        Driving through Grand Rapids a couple a weeks ago and saw a digital billboard with the message “Thank you Governor Whitmer for keeping us safe.” I can only hear that in the voices of very young and obedient school children, in recitation.

        1. It’ll be put to music and sung by a Moranbong Band.

    6. Cuomo should be getting stomped, curb stomped, literally. By an angry crowd.

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  3. Jesus Christ, they weren’t even explaining that this was a misunderstanding or a mistaken interpretation of the law but actually admitted that this was the law and this was the intent of the law? They’re not even pretending any more.

    1. Let’s keep “law” as a word we use to describe things passed by a legislature, signed by an executive, and not (yet) struck down by a court.

      These things are ukases.

      1. Strong leaders, like Cuomo and Stalin, don’t need no stinking legislature. And courts are for pussies.

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    2. Cuomo is a preview to what democrats will bring nationwide. The entire party should be dismantled. Given its constant treason, terrorism, and oppression.

  4. Little wonder why homeless people are increasingly pissing and shitting in streets and alleyways.

    1. Soon in NYC it won’t just be the homeless people.

      1. My thought exactly. It just makes me want to taka a dump someplace really inconvenient.

  5. It would be a crying shame if someone were to organize a grassroots revolt and people sent packages of their urine to NYC City Hall and the governor’s mansion. One could use wood chips to solidify the liquid so it would not slosh. And a false return address -not so obvious that it would be screened, but so as not to be caught.

    1. During one of the trash strikes, a disk jockey told everyone to go dump their trash on the city hall steps, and they did.

  6. “I from the government and we’re here to help”

  7. People mock California when it’s clear that New York is the worst of the worst.

    1. don’t worry Newsom will soon say “hold my beer” actually more likely he will say “Hold my Wine”

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    2. They can both be mocked smart guy.

    3. We are perfectly capable of mocking California and New York at the same time.

    4. This isn’t so much mismanagement and panic by Cuomo (though it’s that, too) as it is another flare-up in the ongoing feud between him and DeBlasio. Any restriction needs to be looked at through that lens at this point. It’s the equivalent of the Yankees signing an extra all-star to keep the Mets off the front page.

      I mean, there’s no good reason for this otherwise: % positivity, deaths, ED visits, and daily hospitalizations are so far off peak and the implied # of infected in the spring is so high that there’s zero reason to be taking drastic steps to “preserve capacity.” Democratic politics at its finest.

      1. If Trump declared martial law in democrat cities like NY, it would literally be less oppressive than this bullshit.

        Think about that.

  8. Which is more of a public health problem: patrons using a common restroom or patrons having no place available to relieve themselves in a pinch? Their decrees give absolutely no thought to what unintended effects they have.

    1. They can’t arrest you for using a bathroom. They can arrest you for pissing in an alley. It is nothing but a backdoor way to discourage restaurant patronage.

      Cuomo is not even interested in using Science! to justify his edicts. It is all about making people dance. Literally is this case. Back and forth on each foot.

    2. Their decrees are not law and are unenforceable. It’s a scare tactic against business license holders. Go enjoy your meal and use the restaurant bathroom.

  9. You ever get the feeling that these authoritarian cunt waffles are just fucking with people because they can?

    I really hope something very bad happens to that guinea wop dago shithead.

    1. Can we add greaseball. Cuomo always looks greasy.

  10. If you live in NY state tell commie deblasio and mafia Cuomo to fuck off. They aren’t doing this for your health they are doing it to further their political careers.

    1. This is what you get when you elect fascistic Republicans.
      I wonder if any restaurants have opened up after posting huge
      “Black Lives Matter Fundraiser Tonite!” Dare the mayor to break up a $50 per plate, with wine, fundraiser.

  11. Look at how efficient government is now that they no longer have to legislate. A few emails go back and forth an WHAM, you get what you need.

    What a time to be alive.

  12. Set up dining tables in the bathrooms.

  13. Is no one going to state the reason why they’re trying to make every restaurant and small businesses go out of business?

    They want to end capitalism.

    All those small business owners are self-sufficient and not dependent on the state.
    They want to close all the restaurants so everybody depends on that $600 a month relief check.

  14. As a trans lesbian woman trapped in a heterosexual male body, I am triggered and PISSED! I

  15. Just have a single tranny complain that it can’t use the bathroom it wants to use and the problem goes away.

  16. New Yorkers are so fucking stupid.

  17. NYers nowadays are complete pussies! I remember quite well in 1991 or so being at a bar near the East Village and the bartender advising me to go pee in the alley because the restroom was out of order. There was a strong odor of piss throughout the city back then, which along with the vomit, garbage, and smoke of various types added to its gritty charm.

  18. “…policy that forbade them from using a restaurant’s indoor bathroom.” No, it’s “forbade to use….”

  19. I thought hand washing was one of the things that helps against the coronavirus, and even if it isn’t, there are plenty of other reasons for people to wash their hands. Just when I think Cuomo can’t get any dumber or more tyrannical, he proves me wrong.

    1. And yet his governorship seems completely secure. Pelosi isn’t in any danger, either.

      1. At least Newsom may be facing a recall.

  20. “It’s fortunate that New York City diners can now pee inside restaurants. Maybe they should be allowed to eat in them too.”

    This sentence encapsulates the insanity we are enduring beautifully. If I had told you a year ago that we would have to fight to use the bathroom in a restaurant because of a virus with a 99% survival rate, you would have thought I was nuts. Also, with no bathroom, where the heck were people going to wash their damn hands?

    This is no longer about science. At all. Banning outdoor dining while admitting that isn’t a source of transmission, closing schools under the same rules – WTF? I saw a news story the other day that walking your fucking dog makes you more susceptible to COVID. They actually recommended wiping down your dog when you get home. Fox News was kind enough to warn us of the dangers of singing Happy Birthday. Perhaps we can outlaw consonants.

    And if masks are so effective, why the fuck are cases still exploding in some areas? And don’t tell me that there would be even MORE cases without masks, because there is no way to know.

    At this point, we will need massive and sustained civil disobedience to get out from under the government’s thumb. My government dictates what I put on my face, where I stand, where I can go, what songs I can sing, where I can eat, whether or not I can get a cocktail without food, if I can see friends and family, when I am allowed to leave my home, instructs me to wipe down my damn dog, and will fine or even ARREST me for failing to follow these ludicrous and useless orders. Government has never been more intrusive, it’s tentacles slipping into ever more areas of my personal life.

    Why?

    Because I might catch a virus that has an almost negligible chance of killing me. Or maybe I have it and don’t know it and will breathe incorrectly and someone else will get it. Or maybe I fart in Target and kill grandma.

    This is Stage IV. It has metastasized, it’s in our bones. It long ago co-opted our blood supply. It is going to be almost impossible to walk this shit back.

    So thanks to all who panicked, who blamed Trump, who made this purely political, who weaponized the word “Science,” who insult elderly women because their mask slipped below their nose, who have chosen to ignore some gatherings (BLM) while excoriating those who have the audacity to try to recapture their individual freedom.

    We are so, so, so fucked. So Merry Rismas everyone. For the love of government, don’t sing a Rismas carol. Singing spreads the dread virus. Sit down and shut up and cover your face because reasons.

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    The keel-billed toucan

  22. Now don’t panic. There has to be a way to turn the podium mic away from the toilet ???? source ???? without going through the building interior.

    A little civil disobedience under these restrictions alas cast everyone with COVID-19 death aura. Even AIDS & ebola wasn’t this bad.

    But flu-19?

  23. Soooo… looks like maybe a precedent for refusing to have anything to do with coercive Gee-Oh-Pee-In-The-Dixie-Cup testing for harmless drugs. There may be a silver lining on that fetid cloud.

  24. People using the street as a public toilet will spread disease faster than the covid-19.

  25. “Taking the Piss: New York Briefly Bans ..”
    What could you expect from a shithead like Cuoma?

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