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Cap Region Phase III Starts Tomorrow

The Capital Region can indeed move into the third phase of reopening from the near-complete lockdown forced by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed during his daily press briefing today.

The governor said he and public health experts made the decision after a review of local virus transmission data, and he expressed excitement about the progress the area is making in its reopening process.

Phase III includes indoor dining, tattoo shops, nail salons, spas, massage therapists, tanning, personal care businesses and cosmetology.

There are, as in the past, requirements and regulations to which businesses must adhere, including limiting indoor restaurant capacity to 50 percent (not including workers), the wearing of face masks by workers and patrons (unless they're seated and eating), and daily health screening assessments.

The governor has been warning businesses of late that if they do not adhere to social distancing and mask regulations in order to prevent another spike of COVID-19 infections, they could risk losing their liquor licenses and set the regions in which they are located back in the reopening process.

To see the Cuomo administration's full guidance for Phase III businesses, click here.

There's a lot of anticipation over Phase IV, which will include arts, entertainment and - most notably - education.

The governor has said the state will be issuing guidance to schools sometime this month so schools and colleges can start to plan. K-12 schools and colleges are expected to submit plans for approval to the state in July.

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