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Cuomo: Multiagency task force has inspected nearly 1,100 bars & restaurants for COVID-19 violations, leading to dozens of charges, 10 license suspensions this week

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Fri, Jul 24th 2020 04:45 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced the multiagency task force to combat violations of coronavirus-related regulations at bars and restaurants conducted nearly 1,100 compliance checks between July 21-23, documenting violations at 84 establishments. The task force is led by State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley and State Police Lt. Col. Dominick Chiumento.

Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant's liquor license. This week, the SLA has summarily suspended the liquor licenses of 10 establishments in New York City and on Long Island – including six in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens.

The list of bars and restaurants currently facing SLA charges or summary liquor license suspensions can be found here.

"We are very proud of what New Yorkers did to flatten the curve of the virus, but we have to protect our progress because no one wants to do that again," Cuomo said. "That's why we're watching the bar and restaurant violations and the congregations in front of these establishments, as we believe it's connected to the increased infection rate with young people. We've tasked the State Liquor Authority and the State Police to help local governments more aggressively enforce the law and they are doing just that, with dozens of violations found last night alone."

Over the past three days, investigators from the newly announced task force led by the State Police and SLA conducted 1,080 compliance checks across the state. During that time, the investigators documented 84 violations. Since the start of the pandemic emergency, the SLA has brought 443 charges against licensees statewide and imposed 33 emergency orders of suspension, immediately closing establishments in order to protect public health and safety. A list of licensees charged, and businesses served with summary suspension orders, can be found HERE.

Cuomo announced the multiagency task force on Thursday. Bradley will lead the effort, employing real-time data to enhance enforcement efforts by rapidly deploying investigators to respond to dangerous social distancing violations as they happen. The task force will include investigators from the Department of Health, Department of Financial Services, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Taxation and Finance, the New York State Insurance Fund and the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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