Half of New York Enters Phase 3 of the Reopening Process
It's a happy day for 50 percent of the state as five New York regions are approved to start Phase 3 of the state's four-step reopening process.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed global experts have reviewed the data and Central New York North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier are now in Phase 3.
"We've had the most informed, science-based reopening in the country and as we continue our phased reopening the numbers continue to go down," Cuomo said. "There is now one number to watch closely and that is the daily testing number because it is a snapshot of the day before and will tell us if the infection rate is going up in any given location. We've been doing everything right up until now, but we have to stay smart and keep following all the necessary precautions to keep getting those numbers down."
Cuomo reminded New Yorkers to be smart when it comes to reopening. He mentioned again that 21 states are "reopening too quickly" and are seeing a spike in COVID-19.
He said as of right now the virus is spreading slower in New York than any other state.
Friday will mark two weeks since those regions started Phase 2 of the reopening process.
New York officials released new rules and guidelines for Phase 3 of the reopening plan, which includes fewer restrictions for bars and restaurants and the reopening of personal care businesses.
Each business will need to have safety precautions and social distancing guidelines to protect customers and employees. Many of the guidelines require occupancy limits and the need for workers and customers to wear masks.
Bars and restaurants can allow customers inside at 50 percent capacity during Phase 3. Masks must still be worn when not sitting.
People seated at the same table must be part of the same party, but can come from different households, with a maximum of 10 people per table.
All indoor and outdoor tables must be separated by a minimum of 6 ft., in all directions. Wherever distancing is not possible, physical barriers must be established between tables.
Employees must wear an acceptable face covering at all times.
Personal care businesses including tattoo and piercing facilities, appearance enhancement practitioners, massage therapy, spas, cosmetology, nail specialty, UV and non-UV tanning, or waxing can reopen in Phase 3 with social distancing guidelines.
Each business must only allow 50% of the maximum occupancy. Customers must maintain 6 ft. of separation while inside, except during the service.
Customers will only be allowed inside if they are earing an acceptable face covering.
The Hudson Valley should hit Phase 3 around June 23. Long Island on June 24 and New York City around July 6.