Latest NY Reopening Update: On 11/11 New Restrictions and More COVID Cluster Zones

Date: November 11, 2020

State-specific updates

11/11

Governor Announces New Statewide COVID Restrictions on Certain Businesses

Effective Friday, Nov. 13th, all bars, restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, and any State Liquor Authority-licensed business are required to close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Restaurants will be allowed to provide curbside, food-only pickup or delivery after 10 p.m. Alcohol to-go will not be permitted. Additionally, indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to no more than 10 people effective Friday, Nov. 13th at 10 p.m.

Governor Announces Updated COVID Cluster Zones

On Nov. 11th, Governor Cuomo announced several updates on cluster zones across New York State. The yellow zone in Steuben County will be removed, while Port Chester’s yellow zone will transition to an orange zone. There will be new yellow zones in Staten Island and parts of Tioga County based on rising COVID positivity rates.

The following restrictions are in effect in yellow zones:

Houses of Worship: 50% capacity
Non-Essential Gatherings: 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
Businesses: Open

Dining: Indoor and outdoor dining, 4 person maximum per table. Bars and restaurants located in Yellow Precautionary Zones must close at midnight.

Schools: Open with mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings.

The following restrictions are in effect in orange zones:

Houses of Worship: The lesser of 33% of maximum capacity or 25 people.

Non-Essential Gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors.

Businesses: Certain high-risk non-essential (gyms, fitness centers, barbershops, hair salons, personal care services) businesses are closed.

Dining: Outdoor dining, takeout, or delivery only. 4 person maximum per table.

Schools:  Closed, remote-only.

Here are the maps for the most recent orange and yellow zones:

Port Chester Map

Staten Island Map

Tioga County Map

Businesses can look up whether or not they are in a COVID-19 cluster/hot spot zone with this tool. For the latest on the COVID cluster zones and guidance, visit the New York Forward website.

11/3

Travel Advisory: New Guidelines Effective Nov. 4th

Due to 45 states qualifying for New York’s travel advisory, the Governor and state officials announced new guidelines where travelers can “test-out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. Effective Nov. 4th, travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours can take a test on day 4 of their quarantine to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont) are exempt from the travel advisory. There are also exemptions to the travel advisory for essential workers.

The new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are as follows:

Travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state. The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days. On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.

For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours, the traveler does not need a test before they depart from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State. However, the traveler must fill out our traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after they arrive in New York.

All out-of-state travelers are still expected to complete the New York State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York.

 

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective October 27th

New York added California to the travel advisory bringing the total to 39 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico officially on the mandatory quarantine list. Massachusetts now meets the criteria for the travel advisory, but is not officially added to the mandatory quarantine list. New York State is discouraging nonessential travel between New York and Massachusetts as well as Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania while they meet the travel advisory criteria.

Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 39 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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.

10/20

Governor Announces Reopening Dates for Movie Theaters Outside of NYC and Ski Resorts

Governor Cuomo announced that most movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen on October 23rd. Movie theaters can open at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people in each theater. The state’s detailed guidance on reopening is on the New York Forward website. The detailed guidance outlines certain conditions and restrictions, including requiring masks except when seated and eating or drinking, assigned seating in theaters, social distancing between parties, and enhanced air filtration systems. Movie theaters located in counties that have a COVID-19 positivity rate of more than 2 percent on a 14-day average or in cluster zones are not allowed to open. A list of counties where theaters cannot reopen is listed here. Each business is required to complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online business affirmation form before reopening.

The Governor also announced that ski resorts can reopen with 50% indoor capacity beginning November 6th. The state’s detailed guidance on reopening is on the New York Forward website. The state guidance on the reopening of ski resorts requires customers to wear masks except when eating, drinking, or skiing, social distancing between parties, and restricting gondolas/lifts to members of the same party. Ski resorts must also reduce outdoor capacity on the mountain by 25% during peak days or if multiple trails are closed. Each business is required to complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online business affirmation form before reopening.

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective October 20th

New York added Arizona and Maryland to the travel advisory bringing the total to 38 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico officially on the mandatory quarantine list; however, additional states meet the “criteria for the travel advisory.” Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all qualify for the travel advisory but are not officially listed on the New York State Dept. of Health’s website. The Governor states that there is no practical way to quarantine individuals from those states as many people frequently cross the border for work. Residents of Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are strongly encouraged to avoid nonessential travel to New York.

Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 38 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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.

10/14

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective October 13th

New York added three states, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia, to the travel advisory bringing the total to 36 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 36 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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.

10/7

Governor Cuomo Announces New Restrictions for Hot Spots in Brooklyn, Queens, and Broome, Orange, and Rockland Counties

On Oct. 6th, Governor Cuomo announced a new cluster action initiative to address COVID-19 hot spots in certain areas of the state. In each cluster action initiative/hot spot, the state will impose additional restrictions on non-essential businesses, dining, schools, religious institutions, and mass gatherings. The initiative will divide clusters and the areas around them (called zones) into three categories:

Red Zone — Cluster Itself

  • Houses of Worship: 25 percent capacity, 10 people maximum
  • Mass Gatherings: Prohibited
  • Businesses: Only essential businesses open
  • Dining: Takeout only
  • Schools: Closed, remote only

Orange Zone — Warning Zone

  • Houses of Worship: 33 percent capacity, 25 people maximum
  • Mass Gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
  • Businesses: Closing high-risk non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care
  • Dining: Outdoor dining only, 4 person maximum per table
  • Schools: Closed, remote only

Yellow Zone — Precautionary Zone

  • Houses of Worship: 50 percent capacity
  • Mass Gatherings: 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
  • Businesses: Open
  • Dining: Indoor and outdoor dining, 4 person maximum per table
  • Schools: Open with mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings. The New York State Department of Health will establish a percentage of teachers and students/staff who need to be tested by Friday.

As of October 6th, the state has declared the following areas as clusters/hot spots:

Local governments will determine when the enforcement of these zones will take effect. The effective date of the restrictions can be as soon as Oct. 7th, but no later than Oct. 9th. The new rules and restrictions will be in effect for a minimum of 14 days. Additionally, fines for sponsors of mass gatherings in violation of state restrictions will be increased to $15,000.

At this time, there is no additional information on exactly how the clusters/hot spots are determined or how non-essential businesses will be notified of the new restrictions in these areas. NFIB is actively engaged on the issue and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective October 6th

New York added New Mexico to the travel advisory bringing the total to 33 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 33 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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.

9/30

Indoor Dining in New York City Begins September 30

Restaurants can resume indoor dining at 25% capacity on Sept. 30. The detailed guidance outlines restrictions that restaurants must comply with, including social distancing practices, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, restricted hours, health screenings, personal protection equipment, and air filtration systems. New York City will establish and deploy a team of 400 enforcement personnel to ensure businesses that offer indoor food services and dining in New York City comply with the detailed guidance. Additionally, the State has set up a hotline and online complaint form where individuals can report violations.

Each business is required to complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online business affirmation form before reopening.

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective September 29

New York added Colorado to the travel advisory, while removing Arizona and Virginia bringing the total to 32 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 32 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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.

New York Forward Loan Fund for Small Businesses Now Available to PPP Recipients

The New York Forward Loan Fund is now available to New York’s small businesses, small landlords, and non-profit organizations that did not receive a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of greater than $50,000 or an Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Originally, the New York Forward Loan Fund was only available to small businesses that did not receive a PPP or EIDL loans.

Small businesses with 20 or fewer employees 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.

Applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open. It is not a first-come, first-served loan program, as there are geographic proportionality and MWBE goals. Click here to access the loan fund application.

Executive Order on Commercial Evictions Extended

Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions until Oct. 20th. The extension prevents commercial tenants from being evicted for nonpayment of their rent or mortgage due to the financial toll of COVID-19.

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective September 22

New York added Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming to the travel advisory bringing the total to 33 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 33 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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.

9/14

New York State Releases Guidance for Indoor Dining in New York City

New York State has released guidance for indoor dining in New York City. Restaurants can resume indoor dining at 25% capacity on Sept. 30. The detailed guidance outlines restrictions that restaurants must comply with, including social distancing practices, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, restricted hours, health screenings, personal protection equipment, and air filtration systems. New York City will establish and deploy a team of 400 enforcement personnel to ensure businesses that offer indoor food services and dining in New York City comply with the detailed guidance. Additionally, the State has set up a hotline and online complaint form where individuals can report violations.

Each business is required to complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online business affirmation form before reopening.

 

9/8

Indoor Dining to Resume in New York City with Restrictions on Sept. 30

Governor Cuomo announced that the state will allow indoor dining to resume in New York City at 25% capacity on Sept. 30. Other restrictions for indoor dining in New York City include temperature checks at the door, no bar service (bars can only mix drinks and serve them tableside), tables spaced six feet apart, restaurants must close at midnight, restaurants must install enhanced air filtration, customers will need to provide contact information for tracing, and masks must be worn by customers when not seated at the table. The detailed guidance for restaurants in New York City is not available on the New York Forward website at this time.

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective September 8

New York has added Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia back to the travel advisory bringing the total to 34 states and Guam on the mandatory quarantine list. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have been removed from the travel advisory. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 34 states and Guam currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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.

9/1

New York State Guidance Released for Agritourism Businesses

New York State has released guidance for agritourism businesses, including corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit/vegetable operations, hayrides, and haunted houses. These businesses are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and must comply with various restrictions including reduced capacity, face covering requirements, and social distancing. For hayrides, businesses must also review the public transportation guidance.

Each business is required to complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online business affirmation form before reopening.

9/1

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective September 1

New York has added Alaska and Montana back to the travel advisory bringing the total to 30 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 30 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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.

8/25

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective August 25

New York has removed 5 states from the travel advisory bringing the total to 28 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands on the mandatory quarantine list. Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, and Montana were removed from the travel advisory as their seven day rolling average of positive tests has dropped below 10 per 100,000 residents. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 28 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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.

8/20

New York Reopening Update: State Guidance Released for Gyms and New York City Cultural Institutions

New York State has released the reopening guidelines for gyms and fitness centers, which can open as soon as Aug. 24th; however, local elected officials within their jurisdiction may decide to open at a later date, but no later than Sept. 2nd. Local jurisdictions can also decide to opt-out of indoor group fitness classes. Capacity is limited to no more than 33% of maximum occupancy, inclusive of employees and patrons. Employees and patrons must wear face coverings at all times, and complete and pass a health screening. Gyms must also ensure social distancing between individuals at all times, including reorganizing equipment or stations. Additionally, each gym/fitness center must be inspected by local officials before reopening or within two weeks of reopening. Each business is required to complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online business affirmation form before reopening.

New York State has also released the detailed guidelines for low-risk indoor arts and entertainment in New York City. This guidance applies to museums and other cultural institutions, which can open starting Aug. 24th. Capacity is limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy at any given time, and all visitors and employees must wear a face covering. Cultural institutions must ensure social distancing, which prohibiting the use of small spaces and modifying seating areas. Cultural institutions are required to complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online business affirmation form before reopening.

 

8/18

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective August 18

New York has added Alaska and Delaware back to its travel advisory, bringing the total to 33 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 33 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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.

8/17

New York Reopening Update: Bowling Alleys and Upstate Cultural Activities Can Reopen Aug. 17th, Gyms Can Reopen Beginning Aug. 24th with Restrictions

Governor Cuomo announced that bowling alleys and Upstate low-risk indoor cultural activities (including museums, aquariums, and cultural arts, can reopen with restrictions. Bowling alleys are permitted to operate beginning Aug. 17th at a 50% maximum occupancy limit. Face coverings and social distancing are required at all times as well as restrictions on food and beverage service. The updated guidance for bowling alleys can be found under New York State’s “sports and recreation guidance.” All businesses must complete a safety plan, read the detailed guidelines, and complete the online affirmation form.

New York City area museums and other low-risk cultural institutions will be able to open as soon as Aug. 24 at a 25% maximum occupancy limit. Timed ticketing is required along with pre-set, staggered entry, face coverings, and social distancing. Additional information on low-risk indoor arts and entertainment can be found on the New York Forward website.

Governor Cuomo also announced that gyms and other fitness facilities can open as soon as Aug. 24 but no later than Sept. 2 as long as local and municipal governments complete required reopening inspections. Local governments will be responsible for inspecting a gym either before or within two weeks of reopening, which means local elected leaders will make the final determinations on when gyms can reopen in their areas. Gyms will be restricted to a 33% maximum occupancy limit, must install MERV 13 air filters, and keep a sign-in log for all patrons to assist with contact tracing. Additionally, all staff and patrons must wear a face covering at all times, even when working out. NFIB is waiting on more detailed guidance on other health and safety protocols required by New York State.

 

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective August 11

New York has added Hawaii, South Dakota, and the Virgin Islands to its travel advisory, while removing Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington, bringing the total to 31 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 31 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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.

8/5

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective August 4

New York has added Rhode Island to its travel advisory, while removing Delaware and Washington, D.C. bringing the total to 34 states and Puerto Rico on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 34 states and Puerto Rico currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.

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.

 7/28

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective July 28

New York has added 3 additional states and 2 territories to its travel advisory, bringing the total to 34 states on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 34 states and 2 territories currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

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.

7/22

New York Reopening Update: State Liquor Authority Releases Updated Guidance for Bars and Restaurants

Governor Cuomo announced that restaurants and bars, effective July 17th, are only allowed to serve alcohol to customers who also order food and are seated. Customers are still permitted to order alcoholic beverages “to go” with a food order. The State Liquor Authority (SLA) has updated the guidance to clarify that customers ordering alcoholic beverages at bars and restaurants must also order food “similar in quality and substance to sandwiches and soups; for example, salads, wings, or hotdogs would be of that quality and substance; however, a bag of chips, bowl of nuts, or candy alone are not.“

Governor Cuomo also announced that the state is stepping up enforcement efforts on bars and restaurants violation social distancing and reopening rules through a multi-agency task force. The task force led by the New York State Police and State Liquor Authority will deploy investigators and respond to social distancing violations as they occur. The task force will include investigators from various state agencies to assist with enforcement efforts.

7/21

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective July 21

New York’s travel advisory includes ten additional states, bringing the total to 31 states on the mandatory quarantine list. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 31 states currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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.

7/20

New York Reopening Plan: New York City Enters Phase Four on July 20th with Modifications

Governor Cuomo announced that New York City can begin phase four of the reopening plan on July 20th; however, certain activities that are permitted in other areas of the state are not permitted in New York City. Indoor dining remains postponed indefinitely, while museums and malls will also remain closed. Phase four eligible businesses include higher education, low-risk outdoor arts & entertainment (including zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, etc.), outdoor professional sports without fans, 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.

7/17

New York Reopening Update: New Restrictions on Restaurants Effective July 17

Governor Cuomo announced that restaurants and bars, effective July 17th, are only allowed to serve alcohol to customers who also order food and are seated. Restaurants and bars are also prohibited from operating “walk-up” bars. Customers are still permitted to order alcoholic beverages “to go” with a food order.

New York City bars and restaurants will be subject to the “three-strike” rule, meaning if any establishment violates reopening rules three times, they will be immediately closed. Restaurants and bars can still lose their liquor licenses for violating reopening rules. New York State will also begin publicizing the bars and restaurants violating reopening rules.

 For more information on the new restrictions, click here.

7/14

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective July 14

New York’s travel advisory now includes four more states: Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The updated travel advisory also includes enforcement teams stationed at airports. Passengers arriving at airports are required to complete a State Dept. of Health traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form are subject to a $2,000 fine and ordered to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The following 22 states currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

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.

7/9

New York Reopening Update: Indoor Shopping Malls to Open July 10 in Phase Four Regions

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor shopping malls are permitted to reopen as soon as July 10 in phase four regions as long as they install air filters that have at least a MERV-11 rating.

For more information on phase four, industry guidance, safety plan templates, and the online affirmation form, click here.

New York Travel Advisory Updated: Effective July 7

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 19 states currently meet the criteria for a required 14-day quarantine: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, 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.

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.

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