When New Yorkers woke up Friday, they were under the impression that they could eat outdoors at city restaurants but couldn't go inside to use the restrooms.
"You can't have a restaurant without people having to use the bathroom”, said Upper East Side resident David Fischer.
It all started after a memo was released by the mayor's office Thursday night saying customers could not enter restaurants for any reason, including using the restroom.
But after an uproar, the city reversed the guidance. It said New Yorkers may go inside a restaurant to use the bathroom while dining outdoors and blamed the confusion on state officials.
Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the change during his Friday morning briefing.
"Every one of us needs to use the restroom sometimes," said the mayor. “There's no question that was a mistake. I don't know the nuances of how it happened. It's just stupid. Obviously, people need to use the bathroom, and if you're patronizing a restaurant you have a right to use the bathroom."
The initial ban also would have prevented New Yorkers from going inside a restaurant to pick up takeout.
"There was never an intention to tell diners that you cannot use a restroom," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo at his briefing Friday.
He said clarifications were made as soon as the state heard about the misconception.
Secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa also chimed in on the matter, placing blame on the de Blasio administration.
She said the city issued the guidance without consulting the state prior or asking for clarification. She said the city came up with the ruling based on language from the state that customers were not allowed indoors after 10 p.m.
"It said no one was allowed inside after 10 o'clock. We thought it was common sense that when you said 'no one's allowed inside,' that was for dining purposes, and not for the purposes of the bathroom," said DeRosa.
DeRosa said the rules have been since made "extra clear online."
Amid all of the confusion, some New Yorkers said they would be willing to sacrifice being able to go to the bathroom inside a restaurant in order to eat outside and support local businesses.
But the point is moot, as the very brief bathroom controversy of 2020 comes to an end.