New COVID-19 pandemic rules will prevent people from drinking in New York state establishments unless they order food.

Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday ordered restaurants and bars not to serve alcohol unless customers also order something to eat. Patrons will have to be seated at least six feet apart from others.

People will still be able to obtain drinks to go as long as they are ordered with food.

Cuomo expressed concern about a lack of appropriate social distancing at many establishments.

The governor said the state has been flooded with complaints about bars and restaurants not complying with regulations intended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Cuomo said businesses that repeatedly violate the rules may be closed.

The governor is urging New Yorkers to continue to exercise caution to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.

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