Alcohol to-go, delivery services end in New York as COVID-19 state of emergency expires

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency will expire Thursday.

With that expiration, alcohol-to-go and alcohol delivery services will end as well, according to the New York State Liquor Authority.

To-go and delivery alcohol services were at least one of the pandemic consequences that New Yorkers viewed favorably.

A recent poll by the New York Restaurant Association showed that 78% of New Yorkers favor permanently allowing alcoholic beverages to be purchased with takeout or delivery orders from restaurants.

Some key findings from that survey:

  • The regional breakdown of those who support alcohol-to-go remains strong throughout the state. 
    • In New York City, 81% of respondents are in favor
    • On Long Island, 79% of respondents are in favor
    • In Upstate New York, 72% of respondents are in favor
    • In the New York City suburbs (Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties), 83% of respondents are in favor
  • Overall, 96% of New Yorkers who have purchased alcohol-to-go with takeout or a food delivery say they are in strong support of the executive order becoming permanent. Of those respondents, they’ve ordered alcohol-to-go an average of nearly 13 times in the last year, and 71% have ordered an alcoholic beverage to go in the last month.
  • New Yorkers also recognize the role restaurants play in communities — 91% believe restaurants are an important part of our community’s character and local economy, and helping our restaurant industry should be a high priority for state leaders.

A statement Wednesday from Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association:

“While the lifting of the emergency order is a welcome milestone to the end of the pandemic, with it comes the sudden end to alcohol to-go. A permanent extension of alcohol-to-go is supported by 78% of New Yorkers, but the Legislature failed to extend it and now the Executive Order has ended. Only in New York would elected officials ignore an overwhelming majority of the public. Restaurants are struggling to find staff, keep up with rising costs and manage a limited supply of goods, and nearly two-thirds of the applicants will not receive Restaurant Relief Funds. New York State must do more to help, not hurt, our restaurant industry.”


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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