The curfew was 10 p.m. when the businesses first sued in January, then later extended to 11 p.m., and as of Monday it will be midnight.
Having allowed the establishments to remain open until 11 p.m. shows that state officials believe the public health protocols are working at the establishments, said attorney Paul Cambria, one of the lawyers for the bars and restaurants.
Servers must wear masks. Customers have to be seated 6 feet apart, and they have to wear masks when they’re not seated at their tables, he told the judge during Friday’s hearing.
“They are saying that restaurants can be open until 11, and obviously that means they think these health protocols are sufficient,” Cambria said.
So how can the state justify an 11 p.m. curfew, or even a midnight curfew, Cambria asked Walker.
“It’s still baseless,” Cambria said of the curfew. “No science for it. No facts for it. Zip.”
Earlier this month, the state ended the curfew for movie theaters, casinos, bowling alleys, pool halls, gyms and fitness centers, said Corey Hogan, another lawyer for the restaurants.
“To our knowledge, there is no other business in New York other than restaurants and bars that now have a restriction as to how long or what their hours can be,” Hogan said.