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Phase 3 reopening looms for region

Joseph Spector New York State Team
USA TODAY Network
Rafael Rodriguez clears an outdoor table at Jines Restaurant on Rochester's Park Avenue on June 4.

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ALBANY — Five regions of upstate New York, including the Finger Lakes, are poised to enter Phase 3 of the state's four-phase reopening Friday.

So it maybe time to figure out what nail polish or type of massage you might want.

Phase 3 will allow nail salons and spas to reopen, and restaurants can have indoor dining after being relegated to just outdoor dining in Phase 2.

The state put out guidance Tuesday on some of the establishments that could resume operations in Phase 3: "food services" and "personal care services" can start with proper safety precautions.

All of upstate New York is in Phase 2, which allowed outdoor dining to take place and retail stores to reopen for the first time since March 22 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two-week period for Phase 2 will end Friday, and the five regions — the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Southern Tier and North Country — will go to Phase 3 if their spread of the virus remains low.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved the Hudson Valley entering Phase 2 on Tuesday, and it would go to Phase 3 on June 23.

"This is not government action. It's not an act of God. It's an act of the people," Cuomo said Tuesday of a region's progression through the reopening steps and taking safety steps.

"They got disciplined, they got smart, they did what they had to do, they brought the numbers down. And the numbers are dramatically down."

Indoor dining

Restaurants were limited to curbside pickup and delivery in Phase 1 and could add outdoor dining in Phase 2.

Phase 3 allows indoor dining, but with a series of restrictions, including:

• Indoor capacity limited to no more than 50% of maximum occupancy.

• All indoor and outdoor tables with seating for customers separated by a minimum of 6 feet in all directions.

• When social distancing is not feasible between tables, physical barriers enacted between tables that are at least 5 feet high and cannot block exits.

• Patrons must wear face coverings except while seated.

• Signs that show six-foot spacing in any lines for customers waiting to order, pick-up food, be seated or use the restroom.

Salons, spas and tattoos

Haircuts were able to resume in Phase 2. Now Phase 3 will let nail salons, massage businesses, spa services and tattoo parlors to begin operations.

Those too come with the same social distancing and 50% occupancy requirements as other businesses.

They have their own set of rules, though, that include closing all waiting rooms and the wearing of masks for customers and employees. Employees in direct contact with customers also need to wear face shields, like hair dressers need to do.

The measures also ban all services that do not allow for a mask to be worn, such as lip and nose piercings, face massages, facials and lip waxing.

Other steps that will need to be taken include:

• Manicure, pedicure baths and bowls. drying tables and tanning beds need to be disinfected between each use with EPA-approved solution.

• All wax containers must be replaced or cleaned and disinfected between each customer, and no double dipping of applicators.

• Each customer would receive new or cleaned and disinfected supplies, such as towels, finger bowls and spatulas.

• Similar steps need to be taken for massages. Linens must be changed between clients and laundered.

• Saunas, steam rooms or any other services that take place in enclosed spaces have to be shuttered "where it is inherently difficult to maintain social distancing and/or unsafe to wear an appropriate face covering."