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Home News Diners forced onto the sidewalks at restaurants are being attacked by RATS

Diners forced onto the sidewalks at restaurants are being attacked by RATS

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New York City diners forced onto the sidewalks at restaurants are now being attacked by rats as restaurateurs beg the city to tackle its sanitation problem.  

New Yorkers have been flocking in their droves to enjoy European-style outdoor dining at some of their favorite haunts ever since the city entered phase two of its coronavirus reopening plan last month.

The move has provided some much-needed income for restaurant and bar owners that were forced to shutter back in March but, with more food being eaten outdoors, the areas are also attracting huge rats.

Restaurant owners are urging city officials to tackle what is fast becoming a new public health issue. 

New York City diners forced onto the sidewalks at restaurants are now being attacked by rats as restaurateurs beg the city to tackle its sanitation problem

New York City diners forced onto the sidewalks at restaurants are now being attacked by rats as restaurateurs beg the city to tackle its sanitation problem

Giacomo Romano, owner of Ciccio, an Italian restaurant in SoHo, told NBC New York one of his customers had an unfortunate encounter with a rat while enjoying a meal in the outdoor dining area.

‘Last night, a customer had a baby rat running on his shoe and I let you just imagine his reaction,’ he said. 

Romano, whose restaurant has been open in Lower Manhattan for seven years, said the rats are coming out of nearby Father Fagan Park, a popular spot for city-dwellers to relax.

He pointed out there is only one trash can for the entire park and people opting for takeout and picnics in the park are throwing garbage in the area.  

‘There are a lot of new holes in the ground covered by the plants,’ he told NBC New York. 

A parkgoer also said they had seen several rats in the area while they were sitting on a bench. 

New Yorkers have been flocking in their droves to enjoy European-style outdoor dining at some of their favorite haunts ever since the city entered phase two of its coronavirus reopening plan last month. Pictured diners enjoying outdoor dining in NYC

New Yorkers have been flocking in their droves to enjoy European-style outdoor dining at some of their favorite haunts ever since the city entered phase two of its coronavirus reopening plan last month. Pictured diners enjoying outdoor dining in NYC

Outdoor dining has provided some much-needed income for restaurant and bar owners that were forced to shutter back in March

Outdoor dining has provided some much-needed income for restaurant and bar owners that were forced to shutter back in March

Phase three of the reopening plan - which started Monday - was scheduled to include indoor dining with a limited capacity but this has been put on hold as COVID-19 cases surge in several states

Phase three of the reopening plan – which started Monday – was scheduled to include indoor dining with a limited capacity but this has been put on hold as COVID-19 cases surge in several states 

Romano said, though he agrees with plans to put indoor dining on hold in the city, city leaders need to tackle the growing problem and he has contacted city leaders asking for help.

It’s not only Manhattan restaurant owners voicing concerns about the burgeoning sanitation issue.  

Barber shop owner Pasquale Giacobbe, who just reopened his business on the same street as Ciccio last week, is also urging the city to step in.  

‘I already don’t have the help from the state, no loans from nobody. At least they can come do something, for all the tax we pay,’ Giacobbe told NBC New York.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office for comment over how the city is addressing the problem.  

The Big Apple entered phase two of its coronavirus reopening plan on June 22, allowing restaurants to open with outdoor dining. 

Emergency programs aimed to help hard-hit restaurants clamber back to their feet after three months of closures now permit sidewalk and patio seating as well as tables to be set up in parking spots. 

But with more food being eaten outdoors, the areas are also attracting huge rats

But with more food being eaten outdoors, the areas are also attracting huge rats

Restaurant owners are urging city officials to tackle what is fast becoming a new public health issue

Restaurant owners are urging city officials to tackle what is fast becoming a new public health issue

Several establishments that previously had no outdoor seating have set up dining areas in the streets and on the sidewalks stretching for miles along popular parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.  

Phase three of the reopening plan – which started Monday – was scheduled to include indoor dining with a limited capacity.

However, de Blasio said indoor dining is being put on hold for ‘a substantial amount of time,’ following a surge in coronavirus cases in several states, which has forced officials there to backpedal on their reopening plans and close newly reopened businesses again.

The mayor also announced Thursday the cancellation of all large events requiring a city permit through to the end of September, saying the city wants to prioritize open spaces for regular public use..  

‘As New York has begun its reopening process, accessible open spaces are more important than ever,’ de Blasio said. 

‘While it pains me to call off some of the city’s beloved events, our focus now must be the prioritization of city space for public use and the continuation of social distancing.’

The decision will affect dozens of treasured events including the West Indian Day Parade and the Feast of San Gennaro. 

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