NYC Officially Enters Phase 4 of Reopening

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo holds a coronavirus briefing Image Credit: Governors Office

New York City becomes final region in state to reach Phase 4 of reopening. On July 20, 2020, New York City officially entered a modified Phase 4 of the State’s reopening plan. Phase 4 in New York City marks the final stage of the State’s plan but should not be understood to mean that all industries, businesses and practices are back to pre-COVID-19 operations. Phase 4 industries include low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment, professional sports with no spectators, and media production like movies, music and television productions. Low-risk outdoor venues include zoos and botanical gardens, which are required to operate at no greater than a thirty-three percent capacity.

Restaurants throughout the city will continue to operate as they did in Phase 3. Outdoor dining is permitted but indoor dining is still on hold. In a press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo was openly concerned about restaurant operations, even threatening to roll back the opening. He said, “One of the main threats to our progress is the number of congregations that we’re seeing across the state, but especially in downstate, primarily of young people, and we saw it again over the weekend. It is a problem and I’m telling you in plain New York speak that it’s stupid and has to stop. This not just morality, these restaurants and bars are breaking the law and they are going to make it bad for everyone else because if this continues, we’re going to have to roll back the reopening plan and close all bars and restaurants.” As it currently stands, the Open Restaurants initiative has been extended through Halloween.

Unlike other parts of the state, the reopening of malls and museums during Phase 4 was delayed over concerns about enclosed, close spaces. The decision to reopen schools is expected to come in the beginning of August. The proposed school reopening plan is expected to involve a combination of in-person and remote instruction.

Twenty-two states are now on the tri-state quarantine restricted list including Florida, Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas. People traveling from states on the list are required to quarantine for 14 days following their arrival. The advisory does not apply to individuals simply passing through New York and the tri-state.

For New York City-specific COVID-19 updates, the City established an information site with updates from all major administrative agencies. Agencies include the Department of Buildings, City Planning, Citywide Administrative Services, the Department of Finance and the Department of Transportation among others. You can find that page here.

For CityLand’s previous coverage of the Phase 3 reopening, click here.

By: Jason Rogovich (Jason Rogovich is the CityLaw Fellow and New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2019)



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