Expect some businesses to look different under phase two

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Photo credit Downtown Buffalo. October 9, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Last week, the governor unveiled the statewide guidelines for reopening under phase two, which applies to offices, real estate, in-store retail, vehicle sales, retail rental, commercial building management, plus hair salons and barbershops.



Most office jobs, including professional services, nonprofit, technology, administrative support, and higher education administration jobs are eligible to open under phase two.

New York State is limiting the total number of occupants at any time to 50 percent of maximum capacity. All people must be at least six feet apart or wear a mask if that is not possible.

Signage is required throughout the workplace and expect a mandatory health screening including a questionnaire and temperature check for employees, contractors, and other visitors.

Real Estate

Shows for houses and other properties are only allowed if the current owner is not inside the property. Open houses are only allowed with one party inside the property at a time. The state is mandating staggered showings to avoid gatherings of people at a property.

All people visiting the property must wear a face mask. Gloves, if used, must be replaced or cleaned after every showing. Commonly touched surfaces like handrails and door knobs must be cleaned before or after every showing.

Real Estate employees must also follow the office guidelines presented by NYS.

In-Store Retail

Retailers are finally able to welcome customers back into their stores. However, a store’s occupancy must be limited to no more than 50 percent of the maximum. That includes the workforce and customers.

Fitting rooms and amenities such as self-serve bars and samplers will be closed.

Retailers must also follow appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Hair Salons and Barbershops

Employees must wear a face covering and a face shield while cutting hair. Customers must also wear a mask. Anyone cutting hair must use gloves or wash hands after contacting. If gloves are used, they must be replaced after each appointment.

Employees must also get a coronavirus diagnostic test every two weeks.

Phase two guidance does not apply to nail salons, tattoo parlors, or any other service like beard trimming, nose hair trimming, facials, manicures, pedicures, makeup application, threading, tweezing, or waxing.

Erie County is offering a free face shield for any licensed barber or stylist. You can apply for one by clicking here.

Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals

If an employee at a car dealership goes on a test drive with a customer, the employee must sit in the seat with the furthest possible distance between the driver and wear a face mask.

Every car must also be cleaned and disinfected prior to a customer pick up or test driving and after the customer drops off the vehicle. The keys must also be cleaned.

Retail rental, repair, and cleaning, plus commercial building management both have extra guidelines which you can view in the reopening phases here.

Malls will remain closed with the exception of buildings that have their own entrances on the outside.

Restaurants and bars will remain closed except for take-out or delivery service. They are eligible to reopen under phase three. Entertainment venues, gyms, state casino gaming buildings, movie theatres, and other places of public amusement remain closed until phase four.