Seven New York regions will be in phase 3 this week, gatherings of up to 25 now allowed

Posted On Mon, June 15, 2020 By

Posted On Mon, June 15, 2020 By In Policy

Slide from Governor Cuomo’s 6.15.20 press presentation

Last week, five New York regions entered phase three of reopening, which includes indoor dining and personal care services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, and massage parlors. In addition to the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier, Governor Cuomo announced today that Western New York will enter phase three tomorrow and the Capital Region on Wednesday. He also modified phase three to increase gatherings from 10 to 25 people.

For phase three, restaurants transitioning to indoor dining must follow the following rules:

  • 50% maximum occupancy indoors, excluding employees
  • All tables separated by 6 feet or by physical barriers
  • Employees must wear face coverings at all times
  • Customers must wear face coverings when not seated
  • Maximum of 10 people at each table
  • Clean/disinfect reusable menus between use, or display online, TV, or with chalkboards

The rules for personal care services are:

  • 50% maximum occupancy
  • Employees must wear face coverings when interacting with customers
  • Customers must wear face coverings at all times
  • 6 feet distance between people at all times, except during services (manicure, massage, tattoo)
  • Prohibit services that require removal of face coverings (i.e. facials)
  • Close waiting rooms; encourage “by appointment only”
  • Employees providing services must be tested every 14 days while region is in phase three

Slides from Governor Cuomo’s 6.15.20 press presentation

On the topic of reopening, the governor has continued to heed a warning to New Yorkers, noting that COVID is increasing in 21 states, 14 of which have their highest numbers ever, typically all following a reopening. In New York, however, he said, “We are the exception. An outrageous exception. We, so far, have the exact opposite phenomena. We reopened and the number continues to go down… How can that be? Because our reopening is different than their reopening. Our reopening is based on the numbers. Our reopening is phased. And because New Yorkers have been smart, and they have been diligent… they have been informed in this state.”

But the governor also warned that this can all change overnight, as New York, specifically the city, is much denser than these other states that don’t have apartment buildings, subways, and the high number of protestors that New York does. Therefore, he said that the main metric to watch now is daily testing. The other six metrics, he explained, “are status of the system or they’re lagging indicators.” Daily testing, which is currently at about 50,000 tests per day statewide, is reported the very next day, showing a real-time snapshot of the numbers and allowing local officials to begin their tracing efforts. This has become increasingly important as restaurants and bars in Manhattan and in the Hamptons are violating the reopening plan, an action that the governor warned over the weekend could reverse the reopening of some regions.

The Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island regions are still in phase two, while New York City entered phase one on June 8. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he doesn’t expect the city to enter phase two until at least early July.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on June 11, 2020, and has been updated with new information.


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