Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) issued the following statement:
"In light of the data suggesting restaurants are not a significant source of infection and the governor's recently announced proposal to permit a limited number of fans to attend an upcoming Buffalo Bills game, it is time for the state to relax the harsh restrictions on restaurants operating in so-called orange zones.
It is unfair and unreasonable to single out the restaurant industry and expect these businesses to operate on take-out orders alone. Appropriate Covid-19 restrictions, such as limited seating capacity, social distancing and mandatory mask wearing are warranted and should continue. Restaurants and other small businesses have been operating under these guidelines, which have shown to be effective, since March and the vast majority of them have done so responsibly. Many have invested thousands of dollars to modify their facilities in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus and to maintain their business. Again, available data indicates that restaurants are not the major source of spread.
Restaurants are fighting for their survival. Many have been forced to cut staff or to close completely. Unless the current restrictions are eased, more will be forced out of business for good. The impact on our economy will be devastating.
We have found successful ways to allow hair salons, gyms, schools, stores and other businesses to operate safely during this pandemic. The state is now working to develop a plan to return fans to Bills Stadium. We must do the same for the restaurant industry."