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New York restaurant to make customers take $50 COVID test before they enter


$50 COVID test before you can eat: New York restaurant City Winery to make customers take a coronavirus test before they enter in a bid to get patrons inside over the winter

  • City Winery will require guests to test negative for COVID-19 before dining in
  • The policy is launching next week and will only cover Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • It is intended to promote safe indoor dining at the weather grows colder
  • Guests will pre-pay $50 each for the test when making a reservation online  

By Charlotte Mitchell For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

A New York City restaurant and live music venue has said it will charged diners to take a rapid coronavirus test before being allowed to eat inside two days a week.

Guests who want to sit in at City Winery in the Meatpacking District will be required to pre-pay $50 per person for the test when making an online reservation.

The pilot testing program will launch on Tuesday in what may be a first for the metropolis, the New York Post reported. 

‘A COVID-19 test is one of the only solutions to get patrons inside restaurants for the next five months until the springtime,’ Founder and CEO Michael Dorf said in a press release.

‘Given the change of seasons, finding the next level of safety and comfort for people to dine indoors is critical for us today.

City Winery, in New York’s trendy Meatpacking District, will introduce a new coronavirus safety measure on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, requiring guests hoping to 

Before being allowed to enter, guests wishing to sit indoors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays will need to take a $50 coronavirus test. Pictured: One of the indoor seating areas at City Winery

It is hoped the test will help persuade diners that it’s safe to sit indoors at the weather gets colder and outdoor dining is a less popular option. Pictured: One of the bars at City Winery 

Would-be diners will be given a wellness check then a nasal swab by a health professional upon arrival at the door and can have a drink while they wait the 10 to 15 minutes for results.

If the test comes back negative, they will be admitted into the restaurant where standard mask wearing and social distancing rules will still apply. 

Positive test results will be sent to a lab to be verified and the patron will be turned away. 

The restaurant and live music venue will continue to provide outdoor dining options in areas like the one pictured above

Founder and CEO Michael Dorf said the tests are necessary to get customers indoors and tide the business over until spring. Pictured: Dorf hosting a show at the venue in July 2019

The new measures will only be in place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the rest of the week the venue is open test-free and outdoor seating is also available. reported that all of the venue’s employees will also be required to test negative before coming into the restaurant for their shift to ensure that everyone on the premises has tested negative that day.

The full $50 fee guests are required to pay for the tests goes directly to the testing company, City Winery’s press release stated.

The venue already conducts temperature checks, santizes tables and chairs between each party and offers contactless dining. 

The pilot scheme comes as New York recorded 5,282 new cases on Wednesday, brining the city’s total to 579,000. 

Three more deaths were recorded in the city where 24,149 people have been killed by the virus.


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