Latest NY Reopening News Impacting Small Business: Mid-Hudson and Long Island Regions to Enter Phase Four

Date: July 02, 2020

State-specific updates

7/6

New York Reopening Plan: Mid-Hudson Can Begin Phase Four on July 7th and Long Island Scheduled to Begin Phase Four on July 8

Governor Cuomo announced that the Mid-Hudson region has been approved to start phase four on July 7th and Long Island is on track to begin phase four on July 8th.

Phase four eligible businesses include higher education, low-risk outdoor arts & entertainment (including zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, etc.), low-risk indoor arts & entertainment (including aquariums, historical sites, museums, etc.), and media production. All businesses have occupancy/capacity restrictions.

For more information on phase four, industry guidance, safety plan templates, and the online affirmation form, click here. Businesses can determine their reopening eligibility with the New York Forward Business Reopen Lookup Tool.

7/2 

New York Reopening: Statewide Guidance Released for Sports and Recreation, Including Mini-Golf, Batting Cages, and Outdoor Fitness Classes

New York State officials have released statewide guidance for sports and recreational activities, which includes non-professional and non-collegiate sports and recreation activities (such as mini-golf, batting cages, rock climbing, etc.), as well as outdoor activities conducted by gyms, fitness centers, training facilities, and other related facilities.

The sports and recreation activities outlined in the guidance may begin as soon as July 6th and in regions that have reached or surpassed phase three. Similar to other statewide and industry-specific guidelines, there are requirements related to capacity restrictions, physical distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), daily health screenings for employees, and cleaning protocols. The guidance specifically limits outdoor classes held by gyms or fitness centers to non-essential gathering restrictions, which is currently set at 50 people, and class participants must maintain a distance of 6 feet from one another.

New York State requires each reopening business to develop a written safety plan. The plan DOES NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but MUST be retained on the premises of the business. New York State also requires each business to read and affirm the detailed guidelines. You must complete a form to affirm that you have read and understood your obligation to operate under their guidelines.

Click here for a link to the statewide guidelines landing page, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the “Sports and Recreation” summary guidelines, detailed guidelines, and business safety plan template. The detailed guidelines include a link to complete the required online form to affirm business compliance.

7/1

New York Reopening Plan: New York City Scheduled to Begin Phase Three July 6th, NYC Indoor Dining Postponed

Governor Cuomo announced that New York City is on track to begin phase three on July 6th; however, indoor dining will be postponed until further notice. Indoor dining in the other New York regions can and will continue to operate. New York State officials have not provided a timeline for allowing indoor dining in New York City. All other industries listed in phase three are permitted to open in New York City as soon as July 6th.

6/30

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective June 30th

The New York State Dept. of Health has issued an updated travel advisory for travelers entering New York. The advisory applies to all travelers from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven day rolling average. The following 16 states currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

If you live or traveled to one of the above-mentioned states, you must quarantine for 14 days from the last day of travel. The travel advisory does not apply to individuals passing through the states for a limited duration through the course of travel (i.e. layover, stop at rest area). There are also exceptions to the travel advisory for essential workers. For more information, click here. Any violation of a quarantine or isolation order may be enforced and subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000.

Employers are not required to provide paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits if an employee voluntarily travels to a state that is currently under a travel advisory. If an employee is traveling for business reasons or at the direction of the employer, then the employee is eligible for paid sick leave or quarantine leave.

6/29

New York Reopening Plan: Western New York Can Begin Phase Four on June 30th and Capital Region Scheduled to Begin Phase Four on July 1st

Governor Cuomo announced that the Western New York region has been approved to start phase four on June 30th and the Capital Region is on track to begin phase four on July 1st.

Phase four eligible businesses currently include higher education, low-risk outdoor arts & entertainment (including zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, etc.), low-risk indoor arts & entertainment (including aquariums, historical sites, museums, etc.), and media production. All businesses have occupancy/capacity restrictions.

For more information on phase four, industry guidance, safety plan templates, and the online affirmation form, click here. Businesses can determine their reopening eligibility with the New York Forward Business Reopen Lookup Tool.

New York Reopening: Industry Guidance Updated Regularly

As of mid-June and Friday, June 26th, New York State officials updated various industry-specific guidance documents to include new information and requirements. Unfortunately, the changes to the guidance are not highlighted, easily detectable, or announced publicly. All businesses regardless of industry or phase, including phases that have already passed, should regularly check the New York Forward website and read through the guidance documents. Businesses may need to update their on-site safety plans or best practices to reflect the updated guidance.

New York Travel Advisory: Employers Not Responsible for Providing Emergency Paid Sick Leave/Quarantine Leave for Employees’ Personal Travel

Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.45 on Friday, June 26th, which clarifies that employers are not required to provide paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits if an employee voluntarily travels to a state that is currently under a travel advisory. If an employee is traveling for business reasons or at the direction of the employer, then the employee is eligible for paid sick leave or quarantine leave.

The New York State Dept. of Health issued a travel advisory for travelers entering New York from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven day rolling average. The following states currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

If you live or traveled to one of the above-mentioned states, you must quarantine for 14 days from the last day of travel. The travel advisory does not apply to individuals passing through the states for a limited duration through the course of travel. There are also exceptions to the travel advisory for essential workers (as defined by Empire State Development). For more information, click here.

6/25

New York Reopening Plan: Phase Four Guidance Released; Update on Regions

Phase four guidance has been released but does not include many expected industries and business types, including gyms/fitness centers, dance and other studios, indoor malls, bowling alleys, mini-golf courses, and several other businesses. NFIB’s New York staff continues to work with the New York Forward Advisory Board and the Governor’s office to reopen all of these businesses as soon as possible and understand the plan with a definitive timeline moving forward.

Phase four eligible businesses currently include higher education, low-risk outdoor arts & entertainment (including zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, etc.), low-risk indoor arts & entertainment (including aquariums, historical sites, museums, etc.), and media production. All businesses have occupancy/capacity restrictions.

Businesses can determine their reopening eligibility with the New York Forward Business Reopen Lookup Tool.

Phase four of the reopening plan is scheduled to begin Friday, June 26 for five regions, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and the Southern Tier.

For industry-specific guidelines, business safety plan template, and the required online form to affirm business compliance, visit https://forward.ny.gov/phase-four-industries.

New York Issues Travel Advisory Effective Thursday, June 25

Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 205, directing the New York State Dept. of Health to issue a travel advisory for travelers entering New York from a state with a positive taste rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven day rolling average. Based upon the Executive Order, the following states meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

If you live or traveled to one of the above-mentioned states, you must quarantine for 14 days from the last day of travel. The travel advisory does not apply to individuals passing through the states for a limited duration through the course of travel. There are also exceptions to the travel advisory for certain essential workers. For more information, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory. Any violation of a quarantine or isolation order may be enforced and subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000. 

6/23

New York Reopening Plan: New York City Began Phase Two Monday 6/22, Mid-Hudson Region Begins Phase Three Today 6/23, and Long Island Scheduled to Begin Phase Three on Wednesday (6/24)

New York City officially began phase two of the economic reopening process on Monday. Also, the Governor announced that the Mid-Hudson region began phase three, today. Long Island is on track to begin phase three on Wednesday, June 24th.

 

Latest on All Regions and Phases:

Capital Region – Phase Three

Central New York – Phase Three

Finger Lakes – Phase Three

Long Island – Phase Two (Phase Three Begins June 24)

Mid-Hudson – Phase Three

Mohawk Valley – Phase Three

New York City – Phase Two

North Country – Phase Three

Southern Tier – Phase Three

Western New York – Phase Three

 

For a complete list of the phases and guidance, visit https://forward.ny.gov/.

 

Governor Issues Executive Order on Enforcement of Reopening Guidelines

Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.43, which allows state agencies and local officials to step up enforcement of reopening guidelines and rules. Under the new Executive Order, businesses engaging in the sale/service of alcohol (i.e., restaurants, bars, liquor stores, etc.) are now responsible for enforcing reopening rules in areas within 100 feet of businesses (sidewalks, roads, parking lots, etc.). State and local officials have the authority to immediately suspend or revoke liquor licenses and issue shut down orders of businesses not complying with reopening guidelines. New York State has received more than 25,000 complaints about businesses not complying with reopening guidelines.

6/15

New York Reopening Plan: Western New York Can Begin Phase Three Tomorrow (6/16) and Capital Region Scheduled to Begin Phase Three on Wednesday (6/17)

Today, Governor Cuomo announced that the Western New York region has been approved to start phase three tomorrow (June 16th) and the Capital Region is on track to begin phase three on Wednesday, June 17th.

Phase three eligible businesses currently include restaurants/food services (for indoor dining) and personal care (tattoo and piercing facilities, massage therapy, spas, nail salons, tanning, waxing, and other cosmetology). For more information on phase three, industry guidance, safety plan templates, and the online affirmation form, click here.

The Governor also announced that gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed in phase three of the reopening plan and low-risk youth sports can begin on July 6th in phase three regions.

New York Reopening Plan: State Enforcement of Reopening Rules and Guidelines

New York State is urging local officials to step up enforcement of reopening rules and guidelines, especially for bars and restaurants. Any bar or restaurant that violates reopening rules and guidelines can lose their state liquor license. Additionally, individuals can be fined for open container and social distancing violations. Some businesses have already seen their liquor licenses revoked for non-compliance.

6/12

New York Reopening Plan: Five Regions Can Enter Phase Three Tomorrow (June 12)

Today, Governor Cuomo announced that five regions can start phase three tomorrow (Friday, June 12). The five regions include Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and the Southern Tier.

Phase three eligible businesses currently include restaurants/food services (for indoor dining) and personal care (tattoo and piercing facilities, massage therapy, spas, nail salons, tanning, waxing, and other cosmetology).

For the latest on the status of each region and its current phase, click here. New York State has also launched a new regional dashboard to monitor early warning signs of potential spikes or hot spots in each region.

6/9

New York Reopening Plan: Phase Three Guidance Released

Phase three of the reopening plan is scheduled to begin as soon as Friday, June 12 for five regions, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and the Southern Tier.

Phase three eligible businesses currently include restaurants/food services (for indoor dining) and personal care (tattoo and piercing facilities, massage therapy, spas, nail salons, tanning, waxing, and other cosmetology).

The New York Forward reopening plan requires at least two weeks between each phase. For the latest on the status of each region and its current phase, click here. New York State has also launched a new regional dashboard to monitor early warning signs of potential spikes or hot spots in each region.

  • The State has released guidelines for EACH industry. These guidelines include mandatory practices and recommended best practices. Read through them thoroughly and carefully as it includes requirements for PPE, disinfecting, training, safety supervisors, and occupancy limits.
  • The State requires each reopening business to develop a written safety plan. The plan DOES NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but MUST be retained on the premises of the business. The State has prepared a reopening safety template for businesses to use.
  • The State also requires each business to read and affirm the detailed guidelines. You must complete a form to affirm that you have read and understood your obligation to operate under their guidelines.

Click here for the list of industry guidelines, business safety plan template, and the required online form to affirm business compliance.

New York Forward has a business reopening lookup tool to help businesses navigate the reopening process.

Updated Guidance on Essential Businesses

Empire State Development (ESD) continues to update the guidance on essential businesses. The latest guidance supersedes any guidance released to date, is effective statewide, and is completely separate from the phased-in, regional reopening plan. The updated guidance now includes the following as essential businesses: campgrounds, outdoor games including racket games or toss games, disc golf, aerial rope courses, zip lining, batting cages, shooting ranges, and swim classes and swim instruction.

Visit ESD’s website regularly for a complete list of essential businesses and to review the guidance and/or business operation restrictions.

New York Reopening Plan: New York City Starts Phase One Today, Mid-Hudson Region Scheduled to Begin Phase Two Tomorrow (6/9) and Long Scheduled to Begin Phase Two on Wednesday (6/10)

Today, Governor Cuomo announced that New York City officially began phase one of the economic reopening process. New York City was the only region that remained closed. Also, the Governor announced that the Mid-Hudson region is scheduled to begin phase two on Tuesday, June 9th and Long Island is scheduled to begin phase two on Wednesday, June 10th.

Latest on All Regions and Phases:

Capital Region – Phase Two

Central New York – Phase Two

Finger Lakes – Phase Two

Long Island – Phase One (Phase Two Begins June 10)

Mid-Hudson – Phase One (Phase Two Begins June 9)

Mohawk Valley – Phase Two

New York City – Phase One

North Country – Phase Two

Southern Tier – Phase Two

Western New York – Phase Two

For a complete list of the phases and guidance, visit https://forward.ny.gov/.

Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Allowing Commercial Owners to Do Temperature Checks

As New York continues to reopen regionally and in-phases, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.38, which allows commercial building owners, retail store owners, and those authorized on their behalf to conduct temperature checks. The owners/operators also have discretion to deny admittance to anyone who refuses to undergo a temperature check or any individual whose temperature is above 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit. The directive must be applied in a manner consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and any provision of New York State or New York City Human Rights Law.

6/1

New York Reopening Plan: Western New York Can Begin Phase Two Tomorrow (6/2) and Capital Region Scheduled to Begin Phase Two on Wednesday (6/3)

Today, Governor Cuomo announced that the Western New York can begin phase two of the reopening process tomorrow (Tuesday, June 2), and the Capital Region can move forward with phase two reopening on Wednesday, June 3. Western New York and the Capital Region join five other regions, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier, that are currently in phase two or the reopening plan. Phase two eligible businesses include office-based businesses; real estate; essential and phase two in-store retail; vehicle sales, leases, and rentals; retail rental, repair, and cleaning; commercial building management; and hair salons and barbershops.

Governor Cuomo also announced that New York City is on track to begin phase one of the reopening process on Monday, June 8. New York City is the only region that has not started the reopening process.

Click here for the list of industry guidelines, business safety plan template, and the required online form to affirm business compliance.

Updated Essential Business Designations from Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) has released updated guidance on essential businesses that supersedes any guidance released to date. The updated guidance now includes the following as essential businesses: all veterinary services and all dentists and dental practices. The updated guidance on essential businesses is effective statewide and is completely separate from the phased-in, regional reopening plan. Visit ESD’s website for a complete list of essential businesses and to review the guidance and/or business operation limitations as it changes regularly.

5/29

New York Reopening Plan: Phase Two Reopening Guidance Released; Begins Today for Certain Regions

Phase two of the reopening plan was slated to begin today for five regions, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and the Southern Tier; however, the Governor just announced the start of phase two this afternoon.

Effective 1 PM 5/29/20, certain businesses in the five regions mentioned above can start phase two of the reopening plan. Phase two eligible businesses include office-based businesses; real estate; essential and phase two in-store retail; vehicle sales, leases, and rentals; retail rental, repair, and cleaning; commercial building management; and hair salons and barbershops.

All other regions, except New York City, remain in phase one of the reopening plan. The New York Forward reopening plan requires at least two weeks between each phase. Regions can monitor their progress and status on health metrics by visiting the regional monitoring dashboard. The phase two guidelines were just released earlier this morning:

  • The State has released guidelines for EACH industry. These guidelines include mandatory practices and recommended best practices. Read through them thoroughly and carefully as it includes requirements for PPE, disinfecting, training, safety supervisors, and occupancy limits.
  • The State requires each reopening business to develop a written safety plan. The plan DOES NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but MUST be retained on the premises of the business. The State has prepared a reopening safety template for businesses to use.
  • The State also requires each business to read and affirm the detailed guidelines. You must complete a form to affirm that you have read and understood your obligation to operate under their guidelines.

Click here for the list of industry guidelines, business safety plan template, and the required online form to affirm business compliance.

New Executive Order Authorizes Businesses to Deny Entry If Customers Don’t Wear Face Coverings

Governor Cuomo has issued Executive Order 202.34, which allows businesses and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf, to ensure compliance with individuals/customers wearing face coverings when in a public place. Business owners have the discretion to deny admittance to individuals who fail to comply with the face-covering Executive Order 202.17 or can compel their removal.

Please note that children under age two and individuals who have medical conditions are not required to wear face coverings. Business owners must remain mindful of potential discrimination and be sure to apply Executive Order 202.34 in a manner consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, or any other provision of law.

NFIB is seeking clarification on the right of State and local enforcement authorities to impose fines or penalties. It’s unclear if this fine or penalty is on an individual or the business owner.

5/28

Update on New York Reopening Plan: All Regions Except New York City Now in Phase One, Phase Two Still TBD

Long Island began phase one reopening on Wednesday, May 27. All of New York’s regions, except New York City, are in phase one of the reopening plan. A New York City reopening date still has not been announced. New York continues to update its regional monitoring dashboard, which tracks each region’s progress and has a detailed map of the regions.

Certain regions that continue to meet the health metrics are slated to begin phase two as soon as May 29. Phase two eligible businesses include all office-based jobs, real estate services, retail (in-store shopping), and limited barbershop and hair salon services. The New York Forward reopening plan requires at least two weeks in between each phase; however, no exact date has been given for the start of phase two. NFIB is still waiting for additional guidance and materials from New York State officials.

New York’s regional, phased-in reopening plan continues to change and updates are announced with little notice. All businesses should continue to check the New York Forward and Empire State Development websites.

5/26

Governor Announces $100 Million New York Forward Loan Fund for Small Businesses

Empire State Development (ESD) and Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) have detailed the $100 million New York Forward Loan Fund announced by Governor Cuomo. The New York Forward Loan Fund is available to New York’s small businesses, small landlords, and non-profit organizations that did not receive funding from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). 

Small businesses with 20 or fewer employees and gross revenues of less than $3 million per year are eligible for the New York Forward Loan Fund. The maximum loan amount is $100,000, with loan repayment terms of 60-months at a 3% fixed interest rate. Loan funds can be used for working capital including payroll, operating maintenance, property taxes, utilities, rent, and supplies.

Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open. Priority will be given to industries and regions that have reopened. It is not a first-come, first-served loan program.

Click here to access the loan fund application.

A-41895/19

New York Reopening Plan: Capital Region Can Reopen Tomorrow (5/20)

Today, Governor Cuomo announced that the Capital Region can move forward with phase one reopening on Wednesday, May 20. The Capital Region becomes the seventh region to begin the reopening process. Western New York began phase one today, and the other five regions, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier, met the criteria to begin phase one reopening on May 15. New York has launched a regional monitoring dashboard, which tracks each region’s progress and has a detailed map of the regions.

5/18

New York Reopening Plan: Regional Update and New Guidance on Statewide Essential Businesses

Today, Governor Cuomo announced that the Western New York region can move forward with phase one reopening on Tuesday, May 19. Western New York becomes the sixth region to begin the reopening process. The other five regions, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier, met the criteria to begin phase one reopening on May 15. New York has launched a regional monitoring dashboard, which tracks each region’s progress and has a detailed map of the regions.

Empire State Development (ESD) has released updated guidance on essential businesses that supersedes any guidance released to date. The updated guidance now includes the following as essential businesses: pet grooming (to the extent necessary to ensure animal health), landscaping, gardening, horticulture, specialized maintenance (including HVAC and pool maintenance), cleaning and sanitation services, OSHA professionals, commercial moving services, non-motorized boat use and rentals, golf and driving ranges (except miniature golf), tennis, and drive-in movie theaters. The updated guidance on essential businesses is effective statewide and is completely separate from the phased-in, regional reopening plan. Visit ESD’s website for a complete list of essential businesses and to review the guidance and/or business operation limitations as it changes regularly.

ESD also announced that any businesses with pending inquiries on whether or not they are essential must refer to the updated guidance or the New York Forward website to determine their status. ESD will no longer respond to individual requests for essential business or reopening determinations.

New York State has launched a new online tool to help businesses determine if they are essential or if they can reopen. Click here for the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool. You will need to provide your county and NAICS code.

5/14

Beginning May 15, certain businesses in the regions that have met set criteria of health metrics can start phase one of the reopening plan. Currently, five regions, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier, have met the criteria. New York has launched a regional monitoring dashboard, which tracks each region’s progress and has a detailed map of the regions.

Phase one eligible businesses include construction; agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; retail (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); manufacturing; and wholesale trade. NFIB has been waiting for additional guidance and materials from Empire State Development (ESD), which were just released.

  • ESD released guidelines for EACH industry. These guidelines include mandatory practices and recommended best practices. Read through them thoroughly as it includes requirements for PPE, disinfecting, training, safety supervisors, etc.
  • ESD requires each reopening business to develop a written safety plan. The plan DOES NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but MUST be retained on the premises of the business. ESD has prepared a reopening safety template for businesses to use.
  • ESD requires each business to read and affirm the detailed guidelines. You must complete a form to affirm that you have read and understood your obligation to operate in accordance with their guidelines.

Click here for the list of industry guidelines, business safety plan template, and the required online form to affirm business compliance.

The new ESD guidelines apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are allowed to reopen and essential businesses throughout the entire state that have remained open.

Also, ESD is in the process of developing a page of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on New York Forward and Business Reopening. Click here for the FAQ and information on contacting your “Regional Control Room” that monitors the reopening process.

Related Content: News | CoronaVirus State | New York

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