NYS issues rules to reopen indoor food service, massages, tattoos and nail salons

New York State has published its rules and guidelines for certain industries licensed to open in phase three.

Onondaga County Director Ryan McMahon said on Monday he believed central New York had the numbers to prove coronavirus infections were low enough and tests were high enough for the region to move on to the next phase. He said he expects Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff to review the numbers on Friday, two weeks after the region’s phase two began.

The state has issued guidelines for the restaurant and personal care industries.

Restaurants will be allowed to start serving customers indoors when the region enters phase three.

Restaurants must:

  • Limit interior capacity to no more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy, excluding employees.
  • Limit the outdoor capacity to the number of tables that can be safely arranged six feet apart.
  • Whenever distancing is not available, physical barriers should be put in place between tables.
  • Employees must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Customers must wear face coverings except when seated.
  • People at the same table must be members of the same group (but can be from different households) with a maximum of 10 people per table.
  • Seating in communal bars and tables may only be permitted if a distance of six feet can be maintained.

Personal care industries include all non-hairstyling personal care businesses that have already reopened. It includes tattoo and piercing facilities, appearance enhancement, massage therapy, spas, cosmetology, nail specialty, tanning and waxing practitioners.

Companies must:

  • Limit manpower and guest attendance to a maximum of 50% of maximum occupancy, including clients.
  • Customers should maintain a distance of six feet from others except during service.
  • Customers must wear a face cover to be allowed entry.
  • Employees should wear a face covering whenever they interact with customers.
  • Maintain social distancing in areas of customer seating, cash registers, and appointment desks, unless there is a physical barrier.
  • Close waiting rooms.

The state has also issued industry-specific guidelines. For example, manicure and pedicure tubs and bowls should be properly sanitized between each use. Spas should close saunas, steam rooms or other services that take place in closed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing or dangerous to wear a mask.

The guidelines are available on the state’s website.


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Contact Michelle Breidenbach | [email protected] | 315-470-3186.

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