New York State Phase 3 Requirements for Business Re-Openings

By: Mary Anne Cody

New York State has released the requirements for those businesses in Phase 3 of re-opening.  Central New York is now authorized to begin Phase 3.

New York State is allowing the re-opening of businesses by region in four phases as follows, with the businesses in the Phases being expanded from the original list to now read:

Phase 1:  Construction, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Retail (limited to curbside or in-store pickup/drop off), Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade.

Phase 2: Offices, Real Estate; Essential and Phase II In-Store Retail; Vehicle Sales, Leases and Rentals; Retail Rental, Repair and Cleaning; Commercial Building Management; Hair Salons and Barbershops.

Phase 3: Food Services/Personal Care.

Phase 4: Arts/Entertainment/Recreation and Education.

For a business to re-open (and for a business which did not close to now continue to operate) the following steps must be followed:

  • Identify which Phase the business is in;
  • Read the State industry specific mandates;
  • Write, adopt and publish at the work site a Safety Plan for re-opening (or continuation of operation);
  • Certify online that the business owner/agent has reviewed State industry mandates for re-opening and affirm that the mandates will be followed;
  • Continue to follow and update Plan and practices in line with New York State guidance.

The required safety procedures for Phase 3 industries has been released at   https://forward.ny.gov/phase-three-industries  Phase 4 guidance has not been released as of June 12, 2020.

A safety plan must be adopted by each business before re-opening (and by those which continued to operate as essential); the State has provided templates. The Plan must be shared with employees, customers and posted at work sites. https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdf

There are Frequently Asked Questions for this re-opening process at: https://esd.ny.gov/nyforward-faq.

In addition, each business (both those re-opening and those which have continued to operate) must certify to the State at a new website portal as follows:

I am the owner or agent of the business listed. I have reviewed the New York State interim guidance for business re-opening activities and operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency and I affirm that I have read and understand my obligation to operate in accordance with such guidance.  https://forms.ny.gov/s3/ny-forward-affirmation

Those businesses which are not in Phase 1,2 or 3 should nonetheless review the requirements of the Phase 1-3 openings as there are common themes in the requirements and the outline of safety plans for businesses can be considered and developed now and finalized once the State releases the requirements for the final Phase.

Additional websites businesses should also continue to monitor include the New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19) website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Website  https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/.