NEW YORK — New York City restaurants can resume indoor dining at 25% capacity on Valentine’s Day, February 14, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Friday. 

Cuomo said the state was giving restaurants advanced notice so they could hire workers and organize their indoor spaces, which for many restaurants have been given over to takeout operations. 

Earlier this week, Cuomo said that the decision on whether to reopen indoor dining was a balance between economic and public health concerns, with local restaurants closing every day and cases of the more infectious U.K. variant of the coronavirus growing in the state. 

“The state has an economic interest in opening the restaurants,” Cuomo said Wednesday when he teased the announcement. “That’s sales tax revenue for the state.”

The restaurant industry welcomed the announcement, but questioned why businesses needed to wait two weeks and would not be allowed to operate at the same capacity as neighboring counties.

“It’s good news that Governor Cuomo heard the voice of New York City’s struggling restaurant industry," Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said. "However, restaurants are broken hearted that they need to wait two weeks until Valentine’s Day to open at only 25% occupancy in the city, while permitting 50% occupancy in dining rooms around the rest of the state where infections and hospitalization rates from COVID-19 are higher. Restaurants in the city are ready to safely open now. 

Positivity rates in the city have declined since the beginning of January, although rates in some areas, such as in the Bronx, remain high. 

Cuomo also announced that in-person wedding receptions can resume statewide beginning March 15, with several stipulations. 

Wedding venues can operate at 50% capacity, up to 150 people total, all of whom need to be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the event. 

The wedding must be registered with the local health department, Cuomo said. 

He suggested that people propose over dinner on Valentine’s Day, and then have a wedding on March 15. 

“I don’t want to create any undue pressure on anyone,” he said. 

Local governments have been issuing marriage licenses remotely throughout the pandemic, with many couples choosing ceremonies over Zoom to avoid health risks to their family and friends.