Reopening Begins for New York City Restaurants | How Stay Prepared with WeShield

Everything You Need to Know About Restaurant Reopening in NYC

New York City is headed towards a complete reopening in the coming weeks, as is much of the nation. As of May 19, restaurant capacities in the five boroughs are near pre-pandemic levels, allowing vaccinated and unvaccinated patrons into eateries with fewer restrictions on space and workflow. While the city will be keeping mask mandates for public transit and other municipal areas, private businesses must navigate the complex world of PPE sourcing and reopening guidelines alone.

‘After a long and incredibly difficult fight, New York State is winning the war against COVID-19, and that means it’s time to loosen some restrictions put in place to protect the public health and help our local businesses,’ Governor Cuomo said. ‘There’s no doubt that restaurants have been among the pandemic’s hardest hit businesses, and New York City’s thriving restaurant industry has found it challenging to keep staff and maintain profits. We’re easing restrictions on restaurants, personal care services and gyms to put more money in the pockets of small business owners and working people in New York City, which was hit so hard by the pandemic but, I have no doubt, will come back stronger than ever.’

Most commercial businesses — retail, beauty, fitness, entertainment, etc. — have returned to 100% capacity, but only on the condition that individuals or groups maintain the standard six feet of distance. Per CDC guidelines, vaccinated persons will no longer be required to wear masks, indoor or out, but private businesses are beginning to implement their own mask rules. The New York State Department of Health still “strongly recommends masks in indoor settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown.”

Given that the CDC has advised that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks and over 52 percent of New Yorkers over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, the State will authorize businesses to continue to require masks for all in their establishments, consistent with the CDC guidance. In most settings, vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear a mask. Unvaccinated individuals, under both CDC and state guidance, must wear masks in all public settings.

Many business owners are asking themselves: what can I do to protect my customers and staff? Despite the latest update that vaccinated patrons are not required to mask, the CDC has not changed its tune on what restaurants can do to remain safe.

“The more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Masks may reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread when they are consistently used by customers and employees, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in a restaurant or bar setting as interactions within 6 feet of others increase. Masks may reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread when worn in any of these risk scenarios.”

The future is looking brighter for NYC restaurants, for certain. From here, business owners need to be thinking about staying prepared, keeping informed, and holding the necessary protective equipment close at hand. WeShield is working with the NYC Hospitality Alliance to provide select restauranteurs will free PPE packages to ease the reopening process. Read more about this initiative here. We are here to assist you in developing the right PPE plan for your business as we navigate the new normal together.

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WeShield is currently offering a full line of PPE and medical supply products to prepare NYC businesses with what they need to reopen and continue operating safely throughout 2021 and beyond. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, no problem! Contact us here, and a knowledgeable sales representative will be in touch as soon as possible with tailored PPE plans and expedited shipping options.

MASKS & RESPIRATORS for Restaurant Workers

WeShield is currently offering low pricing on non-medical N95 and KN95 masks, as well as a full line of medical respirators and reusable 3-ply masks.

ANTIGEN TEST KITS for Small Businesses

Stay in-the-know on wellness in your community with rapid COVID-19 antigen tests now available via WeShield.


Fortify and clean your space with our line of cleaners and wipes today.

GLOVES, GOGGLES & FACESHIELDS for Personal Protection

FPersonal Protection is the name of the game, and our equipment can meet your every need as reopening begins in New York and beyond.