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24-hour nightlife districts proposed for New York City

Bars and clubs in the area must close at 4am under current rules

A new proposal to create 24-hour "nightlife districts" has been put forward in New York City.

Inspired by similar such areas in Berlin and Amsterdam, the move comes as part of a bid to help nightlife businesses get back on their feet as they reopen following over a year of sustained COVID-19-enforced closures. New York’s current licensing rules restrict alcohol from being sold at venues past 4am.

The recommendation to consider 24-hour "nightlife districts" was put forward as part of the NYC Mayors Office For Nightlife report 2018 - 2021.

Ariel Palitz, the senior executive of the NYC Office for Nightlife, told WCBS: “Everything is on the table right now. We are recommending this as a pilot to identify areas where 24-hour use might be appropriate; new licenses that are committed to hosting community programming in exchange for this allowance in certain areas have proved wildly successful.”

Palitz added that "not having everyone rushing out and rushing in" at a strict closing time helps reduce "quality of life concerns" in other cities where these kinds of districts and late-licensing rules are in place. 

New York venues were permitted to reopen at full capacity in May, though all of those in attendance are required to prove that they are fully vaccinated. Those measures were, however, further relaxed last month for venues with a capacity of 5,000 or less.