Long Island restaurants are slowly getting back to normal operations. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced over the weekend that restaurants outside of New York City — which have been running at 50 percent capacity — can expand their indoor seating to 75 percent starting March 19. 

The New York state COVID-19 positivity rate has fallen to 2.98 percent, which means restaurants on the island can operate safely at 75 percent while continuing to implement strict health protocols, such as masks and social-distancing measures, officials said.

Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations are currently under 5,000, which is the lowest since Dec. 6 

New York City restaurants’ capacity will remain at 35 percent for now. 

“Our fight in the war against COVID-19 continues, but we are encouraged by the decrease in infection and hospitalization rates and the rise in vaccinations,” Cuomo said. “The numbers are a reflection of our actions and when we work together, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Top: Restaurant stock photo. Credit: Zakaria Zayane via Unsplash.