New York and New Jersey Prepare for Phase 2 of Reopening Their Economies

New York.  In New York State, all regions except for the five boroughs of New York City have already started reopening as part of Phase 1 of Governor Cuomo’s New York Forward initiative.  Governor Cuomo announced that New York City can expect to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8, 2020.  Phase 1 industries include construction, agriculture, landscaping, manufacturing, and wholesale supply chains, and retailers with curbside or in-store pickup options available.

Western New York entered Phase 2 of reopening on June 2nd and the Capital Region followed on June 3rd.  Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier of New York entered into Phase 2 of reopening as of May 29th.  The Mid-Hudson Valley will be entering Phase 2 on June 9th and Long Island will be entering Phase 2 on June 10th.  Phase 2 industries include office-based businesses; real estate services; in-store shopping at essential retail businesses; vehicle sales, leases, and rental services; some barbershops and hair salons; and retail repair and cleaning services.

With more details to come, Governor Cuomo has also announced that summer day camps will be permitted to open starting June 29, 2020.

For businesses in New York that are preparing to reopen, New York has issued summary and detailed guidelines for each respective industry for Phase 1 and Phase 2 regarding safety and hygiene in the workplace.  Each business must read and affirm such guidelines and submit a safety plan to demonstrate how the business will operate to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.  New York businesses can check whether they are eligible to reopen by using the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool.  New York employers should also keep in mind the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control for various industries, which you can find on our COVID-19 Resources page.


New Jersey.  Governor Murphy announced on June 1, 2020, that New Jersey will enter Stage 2 of the State’s reopening plan, The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health through Public Health, starting June 15, 2020.  Employers may bring their employees back into the physical workplaces only if they follow the State’s safeguarding and modification guidelines.  Violations of such safeguarding guidelines should be reported to  New Jersey employers should also keep in mind the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control for various industries.

New Jersey businesses entering Stage 2 of reopening the economy include more retail stores, restaurants with outdoor seating, limited personal care including salons and barber shops, gyms and health clubs, and possibly indoor dining, museums, and libraries, all with significantly reduced capacity.

Specifically, the following businesses in New Jersey are permitted to reopen during Stage 2 of the state’s reopening plan on the corresponding dates:

  • Starting June 15, 2020, restaurants are permitted to open for outdoor dining only, and non-essential retail stores can allow in-store shopping with up to a limited capacity of 50% occupancy in the stores.
  • Also starting June 15, 2020, childcare centers and other childcare facilities can reopen in compliance with the COVID-19 Child Care and Youth Summer Camp Standards and other applicable statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders; Childcare centers that wish to reopen must submit an attestation to the New Jersey Department of Health (“DOH”) no later than 24 hours prior to date the center expects to start operating.  This attestation must provide that the childcare center or facility will adhere to all applicable health and safety standards, as detailed in the COVID-19 Child Care and Youth Summer Camp Standards, which will be developed and imposed by the Commissioners of the DOH, as well as the Departments of Children and Families  and Human Services.
  • Starting June 22, 2020, individuals can engage in organized sports activities, provided that such activities are held outdoors and do not involve person-to-person contact. Hair salons and barbershops can also reopen for business.
  • Finally, starting July 6, 2020, youth summer camps, including municipal summer recreation programs, can begin operating again in compliance with the COVID-19 Child Care and Youth Summer Camp Standards and other applicable statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders.  Prior to starting operations, youth summer camps must also submit an attestation to the DOH just as childcare centers are required to do so.


For more information on the reopening of New York and New Jersey businesses and the guidelines that must be followed, you may contact Chaim Book at or Sheryl Galler at

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