On Wednesday, Long Island began the second phase of the New York Forward plan, which brings a broad range of businesses back into availability. The guidance gives specific resources and details for each industry covered in this phase. Phase 2 comes as numbers on the island and across the state are at the lowest point since March.
“The people of the state radically changed how they behaved, and look at that progress: lowest number of hospitalizations to date in a matter of weeks,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference last week.
Regulations for all offices require 50 percent of maximum capacity, employees must be six feet apart, unless safety of the core activity requires a shorter distance, mandatory health screenings, and training on new procedures. Personal protective equipment must be provided by employers, and CDC-recommended guidance must be followed in regards to cleaning and hygiene. The state also recommends limiting visitors, reducing use of shared workspaces, and limiting nonessential travel.
Guidelines also prevent more than 50 percent capacity and require six feet between people in a given store. Social-distancing markers should be taped in walking routes and other common areas. Fitting rooms must be equipped with supplies like hand sanitizer for personal protection. Employers must provide personal protective equipment, especially masks.
Cash register attendants are required to wear face masks and protective barriers must be constructed. Retail businesses must also follow CDC-recommended guidelines for hygiene and cleaning. Screening measures are also required for employees who report to work.
These establishments must also reduce maximum capacity by 50 percent and keep six feet between customers. Waiting rooms must be closed and lines should be avoided, according to the guidelines. Walk-in customers should be given a time to return if they cannot immediately be seen. Nonessential amenities like product samples, water fountains, and magazine areas should be closed. Facemasks must be provided for employees, and customers entering the shop must be wearing a face covering. If an apron or smock is provided, it must be disposable or be disinfected after each use. Services offered cannot require removal of a facemask (i.e. beard trim). There are also mandatory cleaning and sanitizing precautions all employers must provide, in accordance with the CDC.
Restaurants were recently granted outdoor dining capabilities as part of Phase 2.
“But thanks to the people of New York and the nurses, doctors and essential workers, today we have the lowest number of hospitalizations ever and we have the lowest death toll ever,” Cuomo announced on June 3. “We are continuously evaluating activities that can be safely reopened, and today we are adding outdoor seating at restaurants to Phase 2.”
In outdoor spaces, all tables with seats must be at least six feet from any other table, seat, patron, or pedestrian thoroughfare or corridor. Social distance must also be accounted for when patrons need to enter the building for any reason. Employees must wear face coverings while at work and patrons must wear a mask except while seated at a table. Communal tables are only permitted if at least six feet can be maintained between parties. And CDC cleaning standards must be met.
For the full guidelines for Phase 2, visit www.forward.ny.gov.