ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for regions already open, includin the Mohawk Valley, to move to Phase 2 of reopening.
Five regions will now enter Phase 2 of reopening: North Country, Finger Lakes, Central NY, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier.
The data in these regions has been reviewed by county, regional & state officials as well as global experts in virology.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 29, 2020
There are guidelines on the state website outlining specific industries that can and cannot open in this phase, as well as health and safety guidance for reopening.
According to the New York Forward section of the site, the following businesses and industries can open in Phase 2:
- Real estate
- In-store retail
- Vehicle sales, leases and rentals
- Commercial building management
- Hair salons and barbershops
According to the state, the following businesses must remain closed:
- Malls; specifically, any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease; however, any stores located within shopping malls, which have their own external entrances open to the public, separate from the general mall entrance (e.g. strip malls), may open;
- Dine-in and on-premise restaurant or bar service, excluding take-out or delivery for off-premise consumption;
- Large gathering/event venues, including but not limited to establishments that host concerts, conferences, or other in-person performances or presentations in front of an in-person audience;
- Gyms, fitness centers, and exercise classes, except for remote or streaming services;
- Video lottery and casino gaming facilities;
- Movie theaters, except drive-ins; and
- Places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions.
There are tools available on the website to help business owner determine the reopening status of their specific industries.
Despite the confusion, many Oneida County businesses opened Friday after County Executive Anthony Picente said the county would not stop establishments from reopening as planned.
Picente and several other officials have expressed outrage with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lack of clarity on reopening, and specifically calling off Phase 2 the day before it was set to begin.
Many are calling on Cuomo to be more transparent.
Sen. Joe Griffo issued the following statement Friday:
"The continued ambiguity of the Cuomo administration’s COVID-19 policies needs to stop, especially in relation to the livelihood of New Yorkers. While we need to continue to be smart in addressing safety issues, businesses that have been shuttered for more than two months need predictability so that they can plan their own reopening accordingly.
"It was understood by the people of this state, based upon the governor’s own comments, that once their region was allowed to start reopening that the Regional Control Room for their area would determine when they move on to subsequent phases. Clearly, those words are ringing hollow today. I concur with Oneida County Executive Picente and other local officials expressing their frustration. The lack of direct communication and coordination with local officials is wrong and needs to be addressed."
Congressmen Anthony Brindisi and John Katko also issued a statement regarding the confusion on Phase 2:
“Our communities have worked tirelessly to meet the metrics required to begin Phase 2 of reopening, with many local businesses spending time and money in preparation to safely resume services and re-open their doors. With all indications that this new phase would begin today, and no guidance from the state denoting changes made, local officials and small business owners are immensely disappointed, and confused to learn that a new requirement has been created by the Governor. We share that confusion and urge the Governor to communicate directly to Upstate New York officials on the next steps forward. Absent clear guidance from New York State, our communities will only continue to guess as to when we may safely and responsibly re-open.
Increased economic uncertainty has plagued our small businesses and local governments during this pandemic. The Governor’s new, late-breaking criteria has only added to that uncertainty. Governor Cuomo and New York State officials must be more transparent with the reopening process. With livelihoods at stake, we need clear and timely instructions on how to safely reopen our communities.”
For more information on the phases of reopening from New York Forward, click here.