Rochester, Finger Lakes region advancing to phase three of reopening Friday

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his daily briefing regarding statewide reopening and police reforms on Thursday from the New York State Capitol.

During the briefing, the governor announced the Rochester and Finger Lakes region will advance to phase three of reopening Friday, which will open various food services and personal care, including tattoos, waxing, nail salons, and more.

MORE | New York state releases guidance on phase three reopening for personal care, food services

“I know businesses are anxious to open, everybody’s anxious to get the economy going,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Please follow the guidelines and do what is permissible to do. People are very wary right now of businesses that are violating the reopening rules.”

According to the state guideline for restaurants and food services, “In regions that have reached phase three, such establishments may open indoor spaces with seating for customers, in accordance with the guidelines.”

“Outdoor space” is defined as an open-air space designated for the consumption of food/beverage, which may have a temporary or fixed cover (e.g. awning or roof), so long as such cover has at least two open sides for airflow.”

Also as part of phase three, according to the guidelines for personal care, businesses such as tattoo and piercing facilities, massage therapy and spas, nail specialty, tanning establishments and more.

The guideline reads, “This guidance applies to non-hair-related personal care businesses and services, including tattoo and piercing facilities, appearance enhancement practitioners, massage therapy, spas, cosmetology, nail specialty, UV and non-UV tanning, or waxing. This guidance does not apply to any hair-related personal care services (e.g. haircutting, coloring, or styling).”

For more information visit Forward New York’s website.

The governor said the Rochester and Finger Lakes region is one of five New York state regions to enter phase three Friday.

“This overall situation, I don’t know how to say it, we need caution,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We have to beware, we need warnings, you take your pick. The numbers are good, everything we’ve done has been exactly right up until now.”

MORE | Gearing up for phase three: Rochester businesses preparing for next step in reopening

The governor said New York is trending in the right direction against the coronavirus compared to the rest of the nation.

“COVID is still out there, it’s increasing in 21 states,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Fourteen states, highest number ever of COVID cases and if you look at what’s going on, it tends to be after the reopening. Why? Because the reopening is the point that increases the activity, just look at what happened in these other states. We are the exception, an outrageous exception. We, so far, have had the exact opposite phenomenon. We reopen and the numbers continue to go down.”

Regional data has been reviewed by global experts ahead of schedule. Unlike the entrance of phase two, data was reviewed prior to the end of the 14-day phase.

“We’ve had the most science based, most informed reopening I think it’s far to say in the country. It’s nothing about intuition nothing about politics.

The governor gave credit to the New York State Legislature for acting quickly to pass police reform measures this week.

Earlier this week the legislature passed a pair of police reform bills, which included body cameras for New York State Police and the repeal of 50-A of the Civil Rights law, which currently shields police personnel records.

“What does New York do? When the going gets tough, New York gets going,” Gov. Cuomo said. “New York is the progressive capital of the United States of America. Look back at history at when there is a pivotal point in society and more often than not, New York was the point of pivot. I applaud the New York State Legislature for moving as quickly as they did.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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