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Phase 2 reopening announced for Rochester and Finger Lakes

Matthew Leonard
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The Chronicle Express

Phase 2 reopening announced for Rochester and Finger Lakes

Rochester and the Finger Lakes region has been given the green light to head into Phase Two of reopening from restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily briefing Friday in Westchester.

The move will enable retail businesses to open their doors for the first time since mid-March.

The second phase of reopening of economic activity includes the categories of professional services; finance and insurance; in-person retail; administrative support; and real estate, rental and leasing.

Salons and barber shops will be able to reopen in phase two, according to Cuomo, but they will have to have strict social distancing and density-reduction measures in place and the governor is recommending that hairdressers and barbers get tested before opening, and then get tested again every two weeks.

Barbers and hairdressers must wear a mask and can cut, color but nail salons and facial clinics remain shut.

"The state will be releasing detailed updates on what industries and businesses are included in each phase as soon as possible," said Kristin Devoe, a spokeswoman for Empire State Development, the state's business-focused branch.

"As with businesses that were allowed to reopen during phase one, businesses allowed to reopen during phase two will similarly be subject to forthcoming health guidance."

Here's some of the guidance on retail, according to Cuomo's office. 

  • 50% of maximum occupancy in all retail stores.
  • Employees must wear face coverings when interacting with customers and coworkers.
  • Shoppers must wear face coverings if medically able.
  • Stores must control foot traffic with signage and markers.
  • Continue use of curbside/in-store pickup where possible, as well as online shopping.
  • Close share amenities, such as self-sampling stations.
  • Store owners can prohibit customers from entering if they are not wearing masks.

The region had moved to Phase One on May 15, after it had met a set of public health metrics that monitored hospitalization rates, deaths, hospital bed and ICU capacity and contact tracing.

These remain closed

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office issued new guidelines for industries in Phase 2 including the following continued closures.

• Malls; specifically, any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease; however, any stores located within shopping malls, which have their own external entrances open to the public, separate from the general mall entrance (e.g. strip malls), may open;

• Dine-in and on-premise restaurant or bar service, excluding take-out or delivery for off-premise consumption;

• Large gathering/event venues, including but not limited to establishments that host concerts, conferences, or other in-person performances or presentations in front of an in-person audience;

• Gyms, fitness centers, and exercise classes, except for remote or streaming services;

Video lottery and casino gaming facilities;

• Movie theaters, except drive-ins; and

• Places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions.