It has been more than one year since Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202, declaring a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a list of a few key COVID-19 regulations and recent updates to provide a helpful reference to such provisions in one place. This Legal Alert is current only as of March 24, 2021. The Governor’s Executive Orders should be regularly consulted.
Masks & Face Coverings
- Individuals who are over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering, must wear a mask or face covering over the nose and mouth when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, a six foot social distance.
- Anyone using public or private transportation carriers or other for-hire vehicles, who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering, must wear a mask or face covering over their nose and mouth during any such trip. In additional all operators or drivers of any public or private transport must wear a face covering or mask which covers their nose and mouth when in such a vehicle.
- Businesses are authorized to deny entry to individuals who do not wear masks or face-coverings.
- Private Gatherings: Indoor gatherings statewide at private residences are limited to no more than 10 people. Starting March 22, 2021, the maximum capacity on outdoor gatherings at private residences was raised from 10 to 25 people.
- Public Gatherings: The Governor has advised that non-residential social gatherings will be expanded to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors (currently 50 for both). Masks and social distancing will remain required.
- Office Buildings: In an office space, the total number of occupants is limited to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy at any given time for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy.
- Bars and Restaurants: Bars and restaurants, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment, must close in-person service from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Restaurants and bars are limited to 75% capacity.
- Movie Theaters: Movie theaters may operate at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people allowed in front of each screen. Beginning April 5, 2021, the 11 p.m. curfew will be lifted.
- Hair Salons, Barber Shops and Personal Service Establishments: The workforce and customer presence in any hair salon, barbershop or personal service establishment is limited to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, inclusive of customers, who must maintain six feet of separation from others, except during the haircutting service, and, in all cases, must only be permitted entry into the hair salon or barbershop if they wear an acceptable face covering; provided, however, that the customer is over the age of two and able to medically tolerate such a covering.
- Higher Risk Sports: Effective February 1, 2021, participants in higher risk sports and recreation activities may partake in individual or distanced group training and organized no/low-contact group training and, further, may partake in other types of play, including competitions and tournaments, only as permitted by the respective local health authorities (i.e., county health departments).
- Indoor sports or recreational activity: Responsible Parties must ensure that for any indoor sport or recreational activity, capacity is limited to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, inclusive of employees and patrons/players/spectators.
- Gyms and fitness centers: Capacity within the gym or fitness center is limited to no more than 33% of the maximum occupancy, inclusive of employees and patrons. Gyms and fitness centers must close in-person service from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Beginning April 5, 2021, the 11 p.m. curfew will be lift.
- In-Person and Catered Events: Wedding receptions and catered events can now resume statewide.Responsible Parties must limit occupancy of in-person and catered events to the lesser of 50% for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, or 150 people, exclusive of employees and event staff. Responsible Parties may have more than one event (i.e., gathering) on the same premises at the same time so long as each event is separate and distinguishable. Each event must be held in different areas on the premises (i.e., indoor vs. outdoor spaces, separate rooms). Attendees from separate events cannot share any spaces or rooms, use the same entrances/exits at the same time, or otherwise engage in in-person interaction or come into contact with each other. Responsible Parties must notify their respective county health department or local public health authority if they plan to host in-person and catered events above the State’s maximum social gathering limit.
- Arenas: Large arenas with more than 10,000 seats reopened as of February 23. Ticket holders who provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of an event will be able to attend events at arenas and stadiums with a capacity of more than 10,000 people, although event capacity will be kept at a strict 10%. Starting on April 2, 2021, public events, arts and entertainment venues with fewer than 10,000 seats can reopen. Smaller spaces will be allowed to reopen at 33% capacity, with limits of 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors. Venues that require attendees to show proof of a negative coronavirus COVID-19 test can boost their capacity to 150 indoors and 500 outdoors.
- Professional Sport Venues (i.e., Citi Field and Yankee Stadium): Professional sports in large outdoor stadium can reopen at 20% capacity beginning on April 1, 2021. Attendees must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. The stadiums will open just in time for the Mets and Yankees to play their home opening games on April 8 and April 1, 2021.
- Regional Sports Venues: Regional sports venues with an indoor capacity of at least 1,500 seats or an outdoor capacity of at least 2,500 seats can reopen on April 1, 2021. Indoor capacity is limited to 10% and outdoor capacity is limited to 20%.
- Travel for Sports: Starting on March 29, 2021, statewide travel for sports and recreational activities will be permitted.
These regulations are subject to change on a regular basis. The public is advised to consult Forward.NY.Gov for regular updates.
The Legal Alert does not list all the regulations set forth by Governor Cuomo’s numerous Executive Orders. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this Legal Alert, or any regulations or directive from any Executive Order, please feel free to contact Drew Victoria Gamils or any other attorney in our Public Sector Practice Group.