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> COVID19 Moving Forward Phases for Reopening

moving forward badge2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Moving Forward: Reopening Phases

As New York State shares guidelines around a safe and coordinated reopening of communities, the Tompkins County Health Department will provide updated information, FAQs, and local resources here.

General Guidelines for Reopening

  • Phased Reopening under NY Forward refers to when specific non-essential businesses and business activities are permitted to begin operations following the guidance detailed by NYS. Essential businesses and business activities that are open will remain open.
  • What Businesses:
    A summary of business types that are permitted to reopen, with links to industry-specific guidance, is below.
  • Image of the poster described on this pageGuidance:
    for specific industries is provided by NYS.
    • Summary Guidance includes Physical distancing; Protective equipment; Hygiene, cleaning, disinfecting; Communication; Screening
    • Master Guidance includes People, Places, Processes, Employer Plans, Affirmation
    • Links are in the industry summaries, below
  • Required Affirmation:
    All businesses and entities are required to submit to the State an Affirmation that they have read and will follow the Master Guidance for their industry.
    • Instructions for submitting the affirmation are on the last page of every Master Guidance document. Use the Master Guidance link in the relevant summary below
    • The poster, “We are Following NYS Guidance” is available to display at workplaces who have submitted their affirmation to NYS. 
  • Keep Tompkins Healthy posterRequired Safety Plan:
    Businesses and entities are also required to prepare a Safety Plan, and post that Safety Plan on the premises of their workplace. Click here to open a NYS Safety Plan Template.

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Summary of Industries and Business Types


Phase 1

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Higher Education Research

Details and Guidance Documents on the NY Forward Phase 1 web page

Phase 2:
Executive Order 202.35 (5/29/20)

Offices, Real Estate, Essential and Phase 2 In-Store Retail, Vehicle Sales Leases and Rentals, Retail Rental Repair & Cleaning, Commercial Building Management, Hair Salons and Barbershops, Outdoor & Take-Out/ Delivery Food Services, Dentistry

  • Business activities where the core function takes place within an office setting, including but not limited to businesses and entities in the following sectors: Professional services, nonprofit, technology, administrative support, and higher education administration (excluding full campus reopening).
    • May also apply to business operating parts of their business functions under different guidelines, e.g., front office for a construction company.
    • Does not apply to medical offices, such as doctors’ offices or dentists’ offices. Details and exclusions in the Master Guidance document.
  • Summary Guidance
  • Master Guidance and Affirmation link
Real Estate
  • Residential property management entities, real estate salespeople/brokers, building inspectors, building appraisers, and related activities. Details and exclusions in the Master Guidance document.
  • Summary Guidance
  • Master Guidance and Affirmation link
Essential and Phase 2 In-Store Retail
  • All in-store essential retail business activities throughout the state, and to all in-store non-essential retail business activities. Details and exclusions in the Master Guidance document.
    • Does not apply to businesses covered under other industries.
  • Summary Guidance
  • Master Guidance and Affirmation link
Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
Retail Rental, Repair, and Cleaning
  • Businesses such as electronics repair, equipment rental, clothing rental, laundromats, other clothing/fabric cleaning services, and residential cleaning services. Details and exclusions in the Master Guidance document.
  • Summary Guidance
  • Master Guidance and Affirmation link
Commercial Building Management
  • Commercial/non-residential property management entities and related activities. Does not address tenants occupying office space and their employees and contractors. Details in the Master Guidance document.
  • Summary Guidance
  • Master Guidance and Affirmation link

Hair Salons and Barbershops
  • Hair service businesses including hair salons, barbershops, and other similar hair service businesses. Details in the Master Guidance document.
    • Does not apply to nail salons, tattoo parlors, or any other non-haircutting-related personal care services or activities, including but not limited to: beard trimming, nose hair trimming, facials, manicures/pedicures, makeup application, threading, tweezing, or waxing.
  • Summary Guidance
  • Master Guidance and Affirmation link

Outdoor and Take-Out/ Delivery Food Services
  • Applies to all restaurants and food services establishments including food trucks, and other food concessions in Phase 2 Regions.
    • Outdoor dining with seating for customers may open with tables distanced 6-feet apart
    • Outdoor bar seating may be opened only in areas where seating can be distanced 6-feet apart
    • Consumption of any dine-in food and/ or beverage must occur at tables or bar tops in these outdoor spaces
    • All staff must wear face coverings  
    • Customers must wear face coverings when not seated.
    • Dining and bar spaces indoors cannot open to customers
  • Master Guidance and Affirmation link

Business Safety Plan Template
NY Forward Phase 2 web page

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Phase 3:

Restaurants & Food Services, Personal Care Services

Restaurants and Food Services
  • Applies to all restaurants and food services establishments, including food trucks and other food concessions.
  • Indoor spaces with seating for customers may be opened, in accordance with the guidelines.
    • Limit indoor seating/ capacity to no more than 50% of posted occupancy. All indoor tables must be 6 feet apart in all directions, or with a physical barrier between tables.
    • Maximum outdoor capacity set by the number of tables the outdoor area can accommodate with all 6 feet apart.
    • Staff must wear face covering at all times.
    • Customers must wear face covering at all times, except when seated at their table.
    • Individuals seated together at a table must all be from the same party, though may be from different households. Maximum 10 individuals at any table.
    • Maintain 6 feet distance at all times when not seated at a table.
    • Reservations and order ahead options for dine-in customers (e.g., online or by phone) are encouraged.    
Personal Care Services
  • Applies to non hair related personal care businesses and services, including
    • tattoo and piercing facilities,
    • appearance enhancement practitioners,
    • massage therapy,
    • spas,
    • cosmetology,
    • nail specialty,
    • UV and non UV tanning,
    • waxing.
  • Does not apply to any hair related personal care services (e.g. haircutting, coloring, or styling), which are covered here, under Phase 2.

Business Safety Plan Template
Reminder posters for customer and employee health & safety
NY Forward Phase 3 web page

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Phase 4
(6/24/20, 7/13/20)

Higher Education, Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools, Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment, Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment, Media Production, Malls

Higher Education
  • Reopening plan must include
    • Reopening of the campus
    • Monitoring of health conditions
    • Containment of potential transmission of the virus
    • Shut down of in person operation s on the campus if necessitated by widespread COVID-19
  • Plans should reflect engagement with all campus stakeholders
  • The Plan Checklist is a good overview document (links here and below)

Local institutions’ COVID reopening plans:

Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools
Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment
  • Includes outdoor zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, grounds of historic sites and cultural institutions, outdoor museums, outdoor agritourism, local agricultural demonstrations and exhibitions; and other similar institutions/activities
  • Limit visitors to 33% of normal at any one time; maintain 6-foot distance except among members of the same household or party
  • Face covering required for visitors (over age 2 and able to medically tolerate)
  • Face covering required for employees when interacting with visitors or within 6 feet distance
  • Health screenings for employees daily; health screening for vendors and contractors when practicable
Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment
  • Includes indoor museums, art galleries, historical sites, aquariums, and other related institutions or activities
    • Retail associated with these venues must follow Phase 2 Retail guidance
    • Food services located within these venues must follow Interim Guidance for Food Services
  • Limit visitors to 25% of max occupancy of any particular space; maintain 6-foot distance except among members of the same household or party
  • Face covering required for all visitors (per NYS protocol)
  • Face covering required for employees when interacting with visitors or within 6 feet distance
Media Production
  • Includes all activities undertaken in motion picture, music, television, and streaming productions on set, on location, or at any production or recording site
  • Activities taking place within a production operation should follow guidance for that specific industry (e.g., hair and make-up, food services, construction services, property scouting, etc.)


Business Safety Plan Template
Phase 4 NY Forward web page

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Additional Statewide Guidelines

  • Travel Advisory, Child Care and Day Camps (includes playgrounds), Sports & Recreation, 
  • Lake and Ocean Beaches, Pools and recreation spraygrounds,
  • Religious and funeral services, Public transportation, Special Ed. services and instruction, Graduation celebrations,
  • Cooling centers, Professional sports training facilities, Auto racing, Racing activities

Travel Advisory

  • Effective at 12:01 AM, Thursday, June 25, 2020.
  • WHO: All travelers entering New York who have recently been in a Restricted State for more than 24 hours.  
  • WHAT: These individuals are required to quarantine for a period of 14 days, following these guidelines.  
  • WHERE: Restricted States are posted on the NYSDOH Travel Advisory web page and updated weekly or as warranted.
  • WHY: States are restricted due to significant community spread, defined as either
    • a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average; or
    • a testing positivity rate of higher than a 10% over a seven-day rolling average
  • Exemptions
    • In a restricted state for less than 24 hours while traveling (rest stops, fueling, travel layover, etc.) Details here
    • Essential workers, based on duration of time spent in a restricted state and /or intended duration of stay in New York. Detailed criteria for short-, medium-, and long-term duration, click here.
  • Image of the NYS Travel Advisory flyerTo report an individual failing to follow the quarantine mandate, please call the NYS hotline at 1-833-789-0470, or file using the form at

Child Care and Day Camps
  • Includes playgrounds, at the discretion of the local municipality (the City, Town or Village).
  • Post educational signage regarding protocols. Use this sign or similar.
  • Does not apply to overnight child care and camp programs.

Sports and Recreation Activities
  • Lower risk* sports and activities: Effective now.
  • Moderate risk* sports and recreation activities: Effective July 6.
  • Competitive tournaments requiring travel not allowed.
  • Protocols for distance, density, face coverings, and hygiene must be followed.
  • Youth sports: limit 2 spectators per youth player. All protocols must be followed.

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Lake and Ocean Beaches:
Pools and Recreational Aquatic Spray Grounds
Religious and Funeral Services:
Public Transportation
Special Education Services and Instruction
Graduation Celebrations
Professional Sports Training Facilities:
Cooling Centers
Auto Racing:
Racing Activities:
New York State Parks:

Business Safety Plan Template
NY Forward Statewide Guidelines page
 » Translations for Statewide Guidelines

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