NYC Restaurant Restrictions to Be Aware Of

Due to the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases, the government developed restrictions based on zones. NYC is implementing and adjusting restrictions for schools, businesses, schools, restaurants, and gatherings. There are three zones, namely red, orange, and yellow.

Red Zone Restrictions

Restaurants that are already in the red zone are not allowed to host customers. The only services that should be made available are takeout and delivery.

Orange Zone

All restaurants in New York areas placed in the orange zone can do deliveries, takeout, and allow customers for outdoor dining. However, there should be a maximum number of four people per table.

Yellow Zone

Restaurants in yellow-placed zones serve indoor and outdoor dining allowing a maximum number of four people per table. They can also provide delivery services and takeout.

Other Restaurant Restrictions

Apart from the above cutbacks, the government has put more measures to make all operations as safe as possible. They include:


Customers should not be allowed in the bar area seating. They should be restricted from sitting or standing side-by-side. Bar-area sittings were mainly used for congregational parties. As a result, they need to be closed. All alcohol sale services, including wine, beer, and spirits, should be prohibited after 10:00 pm.


Restaurants in the yellow and orange zones should not host more than 50% of the maximum occupancy. However, outdoor seating is not included in the maximum building occupancy.

All outdoor structures should not have more than two walls for ample ventilation. This applies to both temporary and permanent structures. Restaurants can also add and modify an outdoor liquor service while adhering to the licensing form rules.

Customer Log

Every restaurant should collect contact information, including name, email or phone number, and the time they were in the restaurant, from customers. This information should be kept for at least 30 days to make contact tracing easy if the need arises.

Menu and Payment

A menu is to be provided using one of the following options:

  • Single-use disposable menus
  • Display options on a board or sign
  • Reusable menus that are easy to disinfect
  • Digital menus – app or website service

The payment systems involved should be contactless.


These restrictions keep adjusting as there are changes in the progress of the virus. They are there for the safety of NYC people and to reduce its spread.