NYC Guidance for Phase 2 Reopening

Posted on June, 18 2020

Today Mayor De Blasio signed Emergency Executive Order 126 (EEO 126) for the Open Restaurants Plan and expansion of outdoor seating in Phase 2. This will allow restaurants to utilize expanded outdoor seating on sidewalks, curbside, and on streets designated in the City’s Open Streets initiative. An establishment utilizing outdoor seating on private property does not need to apply for the Open Restaurants Plan.  All reopening establishments must comply with New York City, New York State, and Department of Health regulations.

New York City Phase 2 Reopening

Phase 2 reopening includes the following industries: commercial building management; hair salons and barbershops; outdoor and take-out/delivery food services; offices; real estate; essential and phase two in-store retail businesses; vehicle sales, lease, and rental companies; and retail rental, repair, and cleaning activities.

The City has endeavored to publish plain language guides to help businesses reopen. The reopening guides specific to each industry must be carefully reviewed as each includes online affirmation forms that businesses must submit prior to reopening.

NYC Open Restaurants Plan

EEO 126 temporarily suspends several requirements related to outdoor dining including:

  • Suspends requirement to obtain a permit and pay fees to erect a canopy over outdoor seating
  • Suspends requirement to obtain sidewalk café licenses
  • Suspends certain provisions of the Zoning Resolution that would otherwise prohibit outdoor seating
  • Suspends Building Code (BC) 3101.1 for special building construction, BC 3111 for the construction of sidewalk cafes, and BC 3202.4.1 for the construction of enclosures for sidewalk cafes.
  • Please note that BC 3111.6 regarding accessibility is not suspended and as such all Open Restaurants must be accessible in compliance with 2014 BC Chapter 11.

The City has launched an extensive NYC Restaurant Reopening Guide page with helpful resources. Of particular importance is the New York State Interim Guidance for Food Services which includes a link on the last page for the online affirmation form. Submission of this form is required for all restaurants reopening under Phase 2.

The Open Restaurants Plan is intended to make it easier and quicker for businesses to create outdoor seating. The DOT Open Restaurants page includes requirements for curbside and roadway seating which should be carefully reviewed prior to application. Prior to NYC entering Phase 2, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will open the online portal for restaurants and bars to self-certify applications under the Open Restaurants Plan for expanded outdoor seating on the sidewalk or in the roadway. A benefit of the program is that approval under the Open Restaurants Plan is that any licenses granted by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) will automatically apply to the expanded outdoor seating area and a separate application with SLA is not required.

For more guidance from NYC on businesses reopening, the Department of Small Business Services is keeping their homepage updated with the latest resources.

As more information becomes available we will continue to update our newsletter and website, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance with your project.