Bill de Blasio is mocked for saying outdoor dining in NYC can resume just hours after huge snow storm is forecast to roll through - as hundreds of restaurant workers protest in Times Square over indoor dining ban

 Mayor Bill de Blasio has been mocked for saying that outdoor dining can resume just hours after a huge snow storm is forecast to roll through New York City on Wednesday night - as hundreds of restaurant workers protest in Times Square over the indoor dining ban. 

Restaurants that have roadway outdoor dining set ups will not be allowed to operate from Wednesday 2pm due to a nor'easter that is forecast to dump eight inches of snow or more on the Big Apple. 

De Blasio said during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon that street dining could resume on Thursday night just hours after the storm.

'Street dining will be closed from 2pm onward tomorrow. We're telling restaurant owners that it's important where they can to get any of their equipment out of the roadway, particularly heaters,' de Blasio said. 

'Sidewalk dining will still be allowed, it may be difficult obviously tomorrow evening, so everyone will decide whether it works for them or not.

'We're hoping that by Thursday night, outdoor dining of all kinds will be online again depending on the exact conditions of the snow. Hopefully everything is back up and running for outdoor dining and sidewalk dining by Thursday evening.'

The mayor was immediately mocked on Twitter by those suggesting New Yorkers would be dining outside in feet of snow given the ban on indoor dining. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been mocked for saying that outdoor dining can resume just hours after a huge snow storm is forecast to roll through New York City on Wednesday night

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been mocked for saying that outdoor dining can resume just hours after a huge snow storm is forecast to roll through New York City on Wednesday night 

Some on social media shared memes that mocked the idea that people would be heading out to dine outdoors following a massive dumping of snow. 

Others stated that it was obvious from the outset that snow storms would cause havoc for outdoor dining during winter and that the Mayor had not been proactive in anticipating such problem. 

'@NYCMayor - who would've thought that outdoor dining in December would be affected by cold and snow?' one person sarcastically asked.  

Meanwhile, some wondered how snow plows would move through roadways that now now have semi-permanent outdoor structures set up on them. 

De Blasio has ordered all tents and equipment to be brought inside during the snow storm, but some outdoor dining structure aren't able to be quickly disassembled.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City should shutdown after Christmas like it did back in April as hundreds took to the street in Times Square to protest the recent indoor dining ban on NYC restaurants

Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City should shutdown after Christmas like it did back in April as hundreds took to the street in Times Square to protest the recent indoor dining ban on NYC restaurants

De Blasio's comments came after hundreds took to the street in Times Square to protest the recent indoor dining ban on NYC restaurants. 

It is estimated that about 250 restaurant workers were involved in the protest.

Indoor dining ended in NYC on Monday even though it accounts for less than 1.34 percent of all new cases. 

Gov Andrew Cuomo put the restrictions in place despite objections from those who said the move would put countless bars and restaurants out of business.  

Earlier on Tuesday, de Blasio had suggested that the city should shutdown after Christmas like it did back in April to get COVID-19 under control - despite Cuomo ruling that out unless hospitals reach 90 per cent capacity. 

Restaurant workers gather for a protest in Times Square after Cuomo ordered all indoor dining to stop across New York City from Monday

Restaurant workers gather for a protest in Times Square after Cuomo ordered all indoor dining to stop across New York City from Monday

Group marches in NYC to protest the closing of indoor dining
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When asked when the city would go into lockdown to curb the spread given the latest figures, de Blasio predicted a shutdown of non-essential work after Christmas.  

'Something that resembles the pause we were in the spring. I think it will be overwhelmingly what we saw then, there may be some adjustments. Essential work only,' he said.  

'If we implement that, my nomination would be right after Christmas. 

'If we implement that with some good luck and hard work and with the vaccine starting to help us we could be out of that in a few weeks. That's an example of what I could think could help us a lot.' 

De Blasio does not have the power to enforce any restrictions aside from closing public schools. Any shutdowns across the city would have to be ordered by the state. 

The number of COVID-19 cases in the city rose by 2,813 yesterday based on the seven-day rolling average. 

There were 160 patients hospitalized yesterday and the hospitalizations rate is now 2.89 per 100,000, according to the latest data.   

The citywide positivity rate for COVID-19 is now at 5.51 percent.  

The mayor said he had been speaking to Cuomo about the COVID-19 response. 

'I don't say it with anything but sorrow, but I do think it's needed - we're going to need to some form of shut down in the weeks ahead,' de Blasio said. 

'These numbers are going in the wrong direction. We're just on the verge of a breakthrough with the vaccine but we're also dealing with a second wave. We've got to beat it back. We've got to protect lives, we've got to protect our hospitals.'

Mayor says city shutdown could come after Christmas
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It is estimated that about 250 restaurant workers were involved in the protest in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon

The protest came after Cuomo shut down indoor dining across the city on Monday to battle the COVID-19 surge. Indoor dining accounts for less than 1.34 percent of all new cases

His comments come after Cuomo on Monday ruled out any shutdowns unless hospitalizations reached 90 percent. 

At present, NYC's hospitals are 81 percent full. In total, there are some 23,000 hospital beds in the city. Every day, roughly between 150 and 200 new COVID patients are being hospitalized. 

Those hospitalizations make up only a tenth of the total patients and they are spending less time in the hospital than they were in the spring. 

It makes it difficult to know then how long it'll take for the system to become overwhelmed, especially while hospitals are adding more beds and staff now to avoid a total collapse like what was seen in March and April.

Cuomo, who closed indoor dining in NYC on Monday, said a widespread shutdown was a last resort and was what he was 'trying to avoid'. 

There are currently 5,400 people in the hospital with COVID-19 across the state as a whole which is less than a third than in April when 18,000 were hospitalized with the virus. 

The vast majority of new cases - 74 percent - are coming from private gatherings.  

Cases are currently rising in New York City to levels not seen since May. The number of COVID-19 cases in the city rose by 2,813 yesterday based on the seven-day rolling average

Cases are currently rising in New York City to levels not seen since May. The number of COVID-19 cases in the city rose by 2,813 yesterday based on the seven-day rolling average

Deaths from COVID-19 in New York City remain low compared to the spring. Every day, roughly between 150 and 200 new COVID patients are being hospitalized

Deaths from COVID-19 in New York City remain low compared to the spring. Every day, roughly between 150 and 200 new COVID patients are being hospitalized

Bill de Blasio is mocked for saying outdoor dining in NYC can resume just hours after huge snow storm is forecast to roll through - as hundreds of restaurant workers protest in Times Square over indoor dining ban Bill de Blasio is mocked for saying outdoor dining in NYC can resume just hours after huge snow storm is forecast to roll through - as hundreds of restaurant workers protest in Times Square over indoor dining ban Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:03 Rating: 5

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