Bars and restaurants throughout Utica, Rome, Syracuse, and the Central New York area of the state will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol to customers unless they also order food.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo just made the announcement to reporters in Albany. reports that in addition, patrons of bars will no longer be allowed to order alcohol by walking up to bars.

Customers will only be allowed to order and consume their drinks while seated at least 6 feet apart."

The requirements announced today are meant to boost compliance with the rules, Cuomo said.

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Cuomo says the reason behind these changes are the problem with both walk-up bar service and allowing drinking without food is that customers at many businesses have not been isolated at separate tables. Mandating these changes are both meant to help address those issues.

The state has reviewed records of over 5,000 businesses in Downstate New York and found “significant” evidence of compliance problems.

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