What’s open and what’s not as
NYC enters Phase 3 of reopening
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Th e latest milestone in New York City’s
recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic
began Monday, July 6, with phase three
of reopening. But unlike the previous two
phases, the atmosphere for this latest stage
in bringing the fi ve boroughs back into
high gear is one of trepidation.
Phase three brings the return of personal
care businesses such as nail salons,
massage parlors, spas, cosmetic surgery
and tanning salons. Th ose looking to
get a well-deserved mani-pedi, full-body
rubdown or new ink aft er months of
quarantine should get an appointment
in advance, wear a mask and prepare to
encounter a socially distant environment
when they visit.
Th e third phase was to have included
the reintroduction of indoor dining,
but on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio and
Governor Andrew Cuomo scrapped that
plan for the time being. Th ere’s fear that
allowing indoor dining in New York City
may result in a rapid increase in COVID-
19 spread, something which occurred
in other states that reopened or relaxed
indoor dining rules in recent weeks.
Th ough indoor dining remains out of the
question, outdoor dining continues across
New York City. Restaurants and bars have
set up shop on the sidewalk or even in the
street in front of their businesses.
On July 2, de Blasio announced an
expansion of the Open Streets program to
allow for more businesses to set up larger
street-side cafés to safely draw in diners.
What can you do? Regardless of what
some may suggest, the COVID-19 pandemic
remains rampant in the United
States — and it’s not disappearing anytime
Aft er suff ering horrifi c losses of life
in March and April, New York state and
city now have among the lowest infection
rates in the country. Yet the fear is that a
sudden change in behavior — combined
with the spike in infections in more than
30 states — might cause a second wave of
the pandemic here.
Aside from outdoor dining, the fi rst
three phases of reopening in New York
City permit a number of other activities,
provided you wear a mask in public and
practice social distancing.
Here’s a list of some other things you
can do in New York City as phase three
goes into eff ect:
Work on construction activities
Building eff orts restarted during the
fi rst phase that began June 8. Go shopping.
Retailers started out by setting up
curbside pickup points, but now a limited
number of shoppers can enter store locations
to browse and purchase items.
Get a haircut
If you haven’t already trimmed the long
quarantine locks, thousands of barbers
across the city are waiting for you to come
in. All are advised to make an appointment
in advance to avoid waiting.
Visit an accountant’s offi ce
Th e federal and state tax deadline was
pushed back to July 15 this year due to the
pandemic. Accountants have been taking
appointments for fi lings.
Meet with a real estate agent
Real estate offi ces reopened during
phase two, and you can contact an agent
to help you fi nd a new dwelling.
Likewise, if you’re looking for a new set
of wheels, you can go shopping at auto
dealerships across the city.
Playgrounds reopened during phase
two, so if the kids are getting bored, you
can take them to your local park and let
them run around and play for a while.
We advise bringing hand sanitizer and/or
wipes to keep their hands clean.
You can also visit New York City parks
and enjoy a walk through them, or along
the many open streets established near the
parks for safe activity. Beaches reopened
on July 1, so you can relax and enjoy a
day in the sun and surf across the city. But
don’t make it a group outing, as capacity
limits are in eff ect.
What you can’t do (yet)
It’s still not clear whether indoor dining
will be permitted during phase four
of reopening in New York City. No timetable
has been established for when that
milestone will be achieved. Phase four is
already in eff ect in seven upstate regions
of New York, and involves the limited
reopening of higher education institutions,
low-risk arts/entertainment venues
(e.g. outdoor zoos, botanical gardens,
nature preserves, outdoor museums, historic
sites) and low-risk indoor museums
Th e fourth phase also permits the
resumption of fi lm and television show
production, and allows for professional
sports to return without an audience.
Th e Mets and Yankees, however, have
already begun training at Citi Field and
Yankee Stadium for the start of an abbreviated
season. Whatever games they play
this year will not be open to fans; they will
be aired on television or streamed on the
internet, along with other sporting events.
Many other activities remain off limits
as of phase three — including shopping
at large malls or going to movie theaters.
And the only way New York will get there,
as many offi cials have said repeatedly, is if
New Yorkers continue to slow and control
the spread. Th e best ways to do that are
wearing masks, practicing social distancing,
avoiding crowds and staying home if
Photo by Dean Moses