FLX Enters Phase Three: Restaurants May Open

Governor Cuomo announced today that Finger Lakes region restaurants can open, beginning tomorrow, following strict guidelines provided here. Restaurants will also need to complete an “attestation” demonstrating they understand the guidelines and commit to following them. Attestation can be found here. Requirement highlights include the following (again, see the entire set of requirements and recommendations, and attest compliance, before opening to the public):  

Physical Distancing

  • Limit indoor capacity to no more than 50% of maximum occupancy, exclusive of employees.Limit outdoor capacity to the number of tables that can be safely and appropriately arranged, a minimum of 6 ft. away from another
  • All indoor and outdoor tables must be separated by a minimum of 6 ft. in all directions
  • Wherever distancing is not feasible, physical barriers must be enacted, and barriers must be at least 5 ft. in height and not block emergency and/or fire exits
  • Employees MUST wear an acceptable face covering at all times.
  • Patrons must wear face coverings, except while seated
  • Individuals seated at the same table must be members of the same party (but may be from different households), with a maximum of 10 people per table.
  • Seating in bar areas and communal tables are only permitted if at least 6 ft. can be maintained between parties.

Protective Equipment

  • Provide workers with an acceptable face covering at no cost to the employee and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of need for replacement
  • Ensure all staff wear face coverings at all times and practice hand hygiene and use bare hand barriers consistent with state and local sanitary codes

Hygiene, Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Adhere to hygiene, cleaning and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs that document date, time, and scope of cleaning
  • Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations 
  • Provide and encourage employees to use cleaning and disinfection supplies for shared surfaces for use before and after use of these surfaces, followed by hand hygiene.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect the establishment and more frequently clean and disinfect high risk areas used by many individuals and for frequently touched surfaces (e.g. restrooms).
  • Take-out/delivery: provide hand hygiene stations for customers; ensure staff wash hands with soap/water or hand sanitizer
  • If pick-up/delivery is indoors, ensure windows/doors are opened to allow for ventilation; and all condiments must be single-use with pre-packaged silverware or pre-rolled silverware


  • Affirm you reviewed and understand the state issued industry guidelines, and that you will implement them
  • Post signage to remind employees and patrons to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfection protocols
  • Immediately notify the state and local health department if a worker was in close contact with others and tests positive for COVID-19
  • Conspicuously post completed safety plans on site


  • Implement mandatory health screening practices (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) of employees and, where practicable, vendors
  • At a minimum, screening must determine whether the employee or vendor has had: 1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days
  • Designate a point-of-contact as the party for workers to inform if they later are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

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