The “New York Forward” website now has details on phase three of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reopening plan. Western New York is expected to enter this stage on Tuesday, June 16.
Phase three includes restaurants. Patrons will once again be allowed to eat inside brick-and-mortar establishments.
The “New York Forward” site stated, “These guidelines apply to all restaurants and food services establishments, including food trucks and other food concessions. In regions that are in Phase 1, or have not yet reached Phase 2, such establishments may only operate by take-out and delivery. In regions that have reached Phase 2, such establishments may open outdoor spaces with seating for customers, in accordance with ‘Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Outdoor and Take-Out/Delivery Food Services.’ In regions that have reached Phase 3, such establishments may open indoor spaces with seating for customers, in accordance with the guidelines below/in ‘Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Food Services.’ ‘Outdoor space’ is defined as open-air space designated for the consumption of food/beverage, which may have a temporary or fixed cover (e.g. awning or roof), so long as such cover has at least two open sides for airflow.”
Moreover, restaurants in phase three must do the following:
√ Limit indoor capacity to no more than 50% of maximum occupancy, exclusive of employees.
√ Limit outdoor capacity to the number of tables that can be safely and appropriately arranged, such that each table is a minimum of 6 feet away from another.
√ All indoor and outdoor tables with seating for customers must be separated by a minimum of 6 feet in all directions. Wherever distancing is not feasible between tables, physical barriers must be enacted between such tables. Barriers must be at least 5 feet in height and not block emergency and/or fire exits.
√ Regardless of physical distance, employees must wear an acceptable face covering at all times.
√ Patrons must wear face coverings at all times, except while seated; provided that the patron is over the age of 2 and able to medically tolerate such covering.
√ Individuals seated at the same table must be members of the same party (but may be from different households), with a maximum of 10 people per table. Seating in bar areas and communal tables are only permitted if at least 6 feet can be maintained between parties.
√ Clearly signal 6 feet spacing in any lines for customers waiting to order, pick-up food, be seated, or use the restroom, as well as in any pick-up or payment location.
√ Designate entrances/exits for customers and separate entrances/exits for employees, where possible.
√ Limit in-person gatherings (e.g. staff meetings) to the greatest extent possible.
√ Establish designated areas for vendor pickups and/or deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible.
Find additional guidelines HERE.
Phase three also includes personal care. Per “New York Forward,” this stage includes: “non-hair-related personal care businesses and services, including tattoo and piercing facilities, appearance enhancement practitioners, massage therapy, spas, cosmetology, nail specialty, UV and non-UV tanning, or waxing. This guidance does not apply to any hair-related personal care services (e.g. haircutting, coloring, or styling), which are addressed in ‘Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Hair Salons and Barbershops.’ ”
Mandatory protocols include:
√ Customers must only be permitted entry into the facility if they wear an acceptable face covering, provided that the customer is over the age of 2 and able to medically tolerate such a covering.
√ Employees shall be tested for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test every 14 days, so long as the region in which the personal care workplace is located remains in phase three of the state’s reopening.
√ Implement mandatory health screening assessment (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) for employees and, where practicable, vendors, but such screenings shall not be mandated for customers and delivery personnel. At a minimum, screening must determine whether the worker or vendor has had: (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days. Assessment responses must be reviewed every day and such review must be documented.
√ Limit the workforce and customer presence to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy, inclusive of customers, who must maintain 6 feet of separation from others, except during the service, and, in all cases, only be permitted entry if wearing an acceptable face covering; provided that the customer is over age 2 and medically able to tolerate one.
√ Ensure 6 feet distance between individuals at all times, unless safety or the core activity requires a shorter distance (e.g. performing a piercing/tattoo, providing a massage, performing a manicure/pedicure). Employees must wear face coverings any time they interact with customers (e.g. performing a service, ringing up a purchase) and any time they come within 6 feet of another person.
√ Ensure that customer seating allows customers to maintain a 6 foot distance from all others except for the employee providing service (e.g. tattoo and piercing workstations, massage tables, or salon workstations must be 6 feet apart from each other), unless a physical barrier is in place in accordance with OSHA guidelines.
√ Ensure that employees at appointment desks/cash registers maintain 6 feet of distance from others, unless there is a physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) between them, or the employee is wearing a face covering; however, even with a barrier, employees must wear a face covering any time they interact with a customer.
√ Close waiting rooms.
√ Put in place practices for adequate social distancing in small areas, such as restrooms and breakrooms.
√ Establish designated areas for pickups and deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible.
√ Personal care services that require customers to remove face coverings (e.g. lip/nose piercings, face massage, facials, lip/nose waxing) are prohibited.
Find additional guidance HERE.
“New York Forward” stated, “The guidelines apply to nonessential businesses in regions that are permitted to reopen, essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open, and commercial and recreational activities that have been permitted to operate statewide with restrictions. If guidance has not yet been published for your specific industry, but you are permitted to reopen, refer to the NY Forward Safety Plan template.
Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo