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Phase III Business Reopening in New York State

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NYS recently released Phase III guidelines and they can be found on the New York Forward website. The guidelines apply to non-essential 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. Here is a breakdown of Phase III industries:

Phase III:

  • Restaurants/Food Services – 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 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.
  • Personal Care – This guidance applies to 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”.

NYS has provided a “Business Reopen Lookup Tool” to help determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen.

Similar to Phase I and Phase II, the New York Forward guidance calls for businesses to prepare and retain on their premises a COVID-19 Health and Safety plan. Template health and safety plans along with a list of FAQs can be found on the NYS Forward website. It should be noted that the reopening standards apply to both essential and nonessential businesses.

If you have any questions on reopening in NYS, please contact Caroline Organ, Director of Human Resources at 854-5034 or