As many as half of all New York City bars and restaurants could shutter permanently within the next six months due to the coronavirus, according to a stunning new audit released Thursday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

RESTAURANT INDUSTRY LEADER: CORONAVIRUS AID URGENTLY NEEDED TO BATTLE ‘FIGHT OF OUR LIVES’

The report lays bare the extent of the pandemic’s fiscal impact on one of the city’s lifeblood industries, which only saw a return to indoor dining on Wednesday — at a meager 25 percent of normal seating capacity.

“The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances, and many eateries operate on tight margins,” said DiNapoli. “Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever.”

In the next half-year, a third to half of all city bars and eateries could fall past the point of no return, potentially taking over 150,000 jobs with them, DiNapoli found.

DINING ‘BUBBLES’ ARE THE LATEST CORONAVIRUS-ERA RESTAURANT TREND

Nearly three-quarters of those employed in the city’s restaurant industry already found themselves jobless at the height of the pandemic, according to the report.

In 2019, the city’s restaurant industry accounted for 317,800 jobs, paid out $10.7 billion in wages and made more than $27 billion in taxable sales, the report said.

By April, as the coronavirus gripped the city and government mandates nixed indoor service, the industry’s employment tanked to 91,000 jobs, according to the audit.

A city initiative to expand and expedite applications for outdoor dining — recently approved as a permanent, year-round program — helped boost employment numbers to 174,000 by August, DiNapoli found.

NEW YORK CITY RESTAURANTS RESTART INDOOR DINING

Sales at pub, bar and restaurant chains plunged by more than a third on the same period last year after a 10pm coronavirus curfew was imposed across most of the UK, according to new analysis seen by the Guardian that reveals the extent of the impact on hospitality.



Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

The first hard figures from the days after the curfew was imposed drew anger from trade bodies and are likely to reinforce calls to reconsider a measure that critics say only drives people to gather elsewhere, while causing significant economic damage.

Takings at 7,000 chain restaurants, pubs and bars were slightly above 2019 levels last Monday, according to the industry analysts CGA, as the UK enjoyed unseasonably warm weather and venues could operate normal opening hours.

Related: Pubs and restaurants urge PM to review 10pm curfew in England

The next day, after Boris Johnson confirmed rumours of an impending 10pm curfew, sales were 8% down, before slumping further during the week as restrictions came into force, first in England and Wales, then followed by Scotland.

By Friday sales were 37% below the total for the corresponding Friday last year. London and Scotland, where many small city centre pubs have remained closed throughout the pandemic, were 47% and 44% behind 2019 respectively. Late-night bars were the worst hit, with sales on Friday two-thirds below the equivalent day of 2019.



a group of people standing on top of a metal fence: A street in Soho in central London just before the 10pm closure deadline on 24 September.


© Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
A street in Soho in central London just before the 10pm closure deadline on 24 September.

The chief executive of the industry body UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, said the figures were “in line with what we are hearing”. “At this rate, many of them are going to be out of business pretty soon. This curfew was brought in without justification and it is

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago restaurants will soon be able to serve more people indoors, and bars that don’t serve food will soon be able to resume service inside, under loosened COVID-19 restrictions announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday.

The city also is easing restrictions for health and fitness clubs, and for personal services.

“Being able to open further today is just one small step that we’re taking based on what we’re seeing in the data,” Lightfoot said. “It also means that difficult decisions and sacrifices that we’ve all had to make are moving us slowly but surely forward.”

The mayor said the move comes after the city has seen improving COVID-19 data over the past month, including lower rates of infection and fewer emergency room visits.

“It was because of the citywide cooperation and collaboration that Chicago never saw a huge surge in cases once we started to gently reopen,” Lightfoot said. “All the modeling predicted that we would see a surge. The question was only how large, and luckily because of all the hard work and sacrifice of so many, including individual residents, that fate didn’t come to us.”

The new rules will go into effect on Thursday, when indoor capacity at restaurants will be increased from 25% to 40%, with a maximum of 50 people per room and six people per table.

Bars that serve alcohol but not food will be limited to 25% capacity indoors, or a maximum of 50 people, whichever is lower. Customers can stay no longer than two hours, and cannot order at the bar, only at tables. Bars that don’t serve food themselves also must partner with a restaurant or other establishment to make food available to customers at all times through delivery services.