Hudson Valley has become the ninth of New York State's 10 regions to enter Phase 3 of reopening the economy as the state recovers from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The region took the next step in the four-phase reopening plan as of Tuesday morning, June 23, allowing more businesses to open.
Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties make up the Hudson Valley region.
Long Island will enter Phase 3 on Wednesday, June 24, leaving just New York City in Phase 2, possibly entering Phase 3 in two weeks.
In Phase 3, limited indoor dining is permitted, as well as personal care service businesses such as nail salons and tattoo parlors, though there are restrictions in place and guidelines to follow, which patrons have reportedly flocked to.
- Earlier story - COVID-19: Here Are New Rules Restaurants Are Implementing For Indoor Dining In Phase 3
Before opening, businesses had to provide the state with a written safety plan, employees and patrons will be wearing face coverings, social distancing must be practiced, and there are limits to buildings’ occupancies.
Sanitizing stations will be provided for workers, and there are more stringent disinfectant rules in place for businesses.
Bars and restaurants are limited to 50 percent capacity during Phase 3, and patrons sitting at the same table must be in the same party, which will be limited to 10 people total.
Tables -- indoors and outdoors -- are to be separated by six feet as per state-mandated social distancing rules.
Personal care businesses will also be limited at 50 percent capacity, with customers and stations separated by six feet.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously announced that in Phase 3, gatherings of up to 25 people will be permitted, up from 10 previously during the early stages of the pandemic.
Though New Yorkers are beginning to settle into the “new normal,’ Cuomo cautioned that it’s important to continue reopening meticulously, otherwise New York faces the same pitfalls as other states that opened up and almost immediately saw a spike in cases.
“I know businesses are anxious to open up," he said. "Everyone is anxious to get the economy back open.
“But please follow the guidelines and do what is permissible to do. People are wary right now of businesses that are violating operating rules.
“Our reopening is different than (other states’) reopening. Ours is based on the numbers and is phased.
“New Yorkers have been smart and diligent and informed in this state. They know what’s going on and they know how to stop the spread.”
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