Governor andrew cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a May news conference. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has given the Southern Tier region the green light to enter Phase 3 re-opening, one of five regions across the state now approved to do so starting Friday, June 12. 

The announcement came earlier this week during Cuomo's daily press briefings. Phase 3 of "Moving Forward" means restaurants may now have indoor seating, though only 50 percent of capacity, as well as outdoor seating as long as a minimum of six feet between tables is maintained (this also applies to indoor seating). Employees must wear face coverings at all times, and patrons must wear face coverings whenever they are not seated at their table. In-person gatherings like staff meetings are discouraged. Restaurants are also required to provide masks, limit item-sharing and maintain thorough hygiene practices. Full food service guidelines here. 

Additionally, the personal care industry sees their guidelines relaxed during Phase 3. Barbershops and salons were already opened in Phase 2, but the following businesses fall under Phase 3: tattoo and piercing facilities, spas, cosmetology, nail salons, tanning parlors, cosmetology and masseuses. 

For personal care shops, the workforce and customer presence must be limited to 50 percent of capacity, social distance must be maintained and waiting rooms are closed. Face piercings and facials are banned because they necessitate the removal of masks. Salons must also observe tightened hygiene guidelines for the time being. Full guidelines here. 

The announcement means that Finger Lakes spent the minimum amount of time in Phase 2, as the state-provided dashboard continues to show the outbreak weakening despite the fact that other states, many in the south and west, are experiencing rising numbers of cases. If all goes according to plan in Phase 3, Phase 4 could be approved as soon as June 26. 

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