Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State would be easing restrictions on many types of businesses as transmission and infection rates decline across the state and hospital system capacity remains stable. This is the first significant action to adjust the state’s economic restrictions in weeks.
All “Orange Zone” designations have been lifted along with most “Yellow Zones”. Orange Zones impose significant capacity restrictions on small businesses and relegated restaurants to take-out only in many communities across the state, including large portions of Western New York, Monroe County, and New York City.
Five Yellow Zones remain in place, for now, affecting two neighborhoods in the Bronx, Washington Heights in Manhattan, one neighborhood in Queens, and parts of Orange County.
Businesses are still required to follow the relevant statewide guidance for their specific industry. NY Forward statewide industry guidelines are available here.
Indoor dining at restaurants in New York City remains prohibited. The Governor did state that a plan to reopen eateries in New York City for indoor service would be announced in the coming days.
NFIB welcomes any news that advances our state’s economy and allows more small businesses to operate, but we will not rest until all small businesses are able to pursue their livelihood fully and freely. New York State’s own contact tracing data clearly indicates that typical commercial activity has not been a significant source of transmission because, as you know, small business owners have always prioritized the health and safety of their customers, employees, and their communities.