June 26, 2021
Governor Cuomo announced that New York’s state of emergency has expired beginning Thursday, June 24, and with that there are a series of recent changes and resources compiled below.
- Food service businesses and most small- and medium- sized performing arts and entertainment venues are no longer required to implement COVID-related protocol such as vaccination checks, daily disinfecting logs, employee health screenings, temperature checks, COVID-19 Safety Plans, or contact tracing information.
- Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a face covering or maintain social distance in nightlife and hospitality businesses. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to follow CDC guidance by wearing face coverings and being separated by six feet of social distance.
Public or private arts and entertainment venues with an indoor capacity of greater than 5,000 attendees are are still required to check for documented proof of vaccination and to continue following the NYS DOH Interim Guidance for Large Scale Performing Arts and Entertainment during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
NYC Open Restaurants Program
- As the state of emergency expires, the State Liquor Authority announced that it is allowing licensees that are currently part of NYC’s Open Restaurants Program to continue serving alcohol on outdoor City property while NYS Assembly Bill A7733 / Senate Bill S6353 awaits adoption. This legislation, if signed, would allow restaurants participating in the Open Restaurants Program to continue serving alcohol on City property for one additional year after the law is adopted.
The Open Restaurants text amendment entered public review on June 21, 2021. Like all proposed changes to the Zoning Resolution, it will be reviewed by Community Boards and Borough Presidents with public meetings for New Yorkers to learn more and give their feedback. This process is anticipated to move in parallel to legislative changes necessary to facilitate the permanent Open Restaurants program. Referral this week by the City Planning Commission begins a 90-day window for public review. Contact your local Community Board for more information about when they will be holding a hearing.
- As the state of emergency expires, the State Liquor Authority also announced that “temporary pandemic-related privileges for to-go and delivery of alcoholic beverages ends after June 24th.” Establishments with on-premises licenses may no longer serve wine and liquor for off-premises consumption. They may continue to sell beer for off-premises consumption, which was permitted pre-pandemic.
A recent law protecting commercial tenants from personal guarantees in commercial leases expires June 30, 2021. Business operators may contact the Commercial Lease Assistance Program for free legal assistance related to commercial leases, or MEND NYC to request free mediation services with their landlords.