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  • Outdoor Dining Complaint to report a restaurant's outdoor dining structure blocking a street or sidewalk, with missing or defective barriers, ramps, or platforms, not accessible for people with disabilities, or missing a permit

New York State has established guidelines for the reopening of businesses.

You can report a business that is not complying with NY State Department of Health Guidance.

Effective May 19, 2021, most business capacities, which were based upon percentage of maximum occupancy, were removed in New York. Businesses are only limited by the space available for customers to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet. This new distance-based maximum capacity will apply across commercial settings, including retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services, among other settings.

Businesses can choose to require masks for all customers. Complaints are not accepted for businesses that require customers to wear a mask.

To report a restaurant's outdoor dining structure blocking a street or sidewalk, with missing or defective barriers, ramps, or platforms, not accessible for people with disabilities, or missing a permit, visit the Outdoor Dining Complaint page instead.

To report restaurant or bar non-compliance with COVID-19 indoor and/or outdoor health and safety rules, visit the Restaurant or Bar Reopening Complaint page instead.

What You Need

An exact address and business name are required to file a business reopening complaint. If you would like to report more than one business, you must file a complaint for each business/location.

According to NY State Department of Health guidelines, businesses are required to follow specific guidelines, which include:

  • Post a safety plan where everyone can see it
  • Give employees free face coverings and proper protective equipment and provide replacements
  • Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations that include soap, water, and paper towels, and/or contact-free hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Train employees on hygiene and safety practices
  • Conduct employee health screenings every day and make sure sick employees go home
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of any shared surfaces
  • Post signs and put tape or other markers to show people where to stand
  • Reduce occupancy to under 50% and limit confined spaces to 1 person (elevators, behind cash registers, etc.)
  • Limit all in-person gatherings and meetings, and only hold them in large, well-ventilated areas with social distancing

Businesses and business activities that are currently open will remain open unless specifically reclosed by the issuance of new guidelines.

Outdoor amusement parks in New York City were allowed to reopen on April 9, 2021 with the following restrictions:

  • Parks must submit reopening plans with health protocols to the local health department
  • Face coverings and social distancing are required for all customers and staff
  • Customers are required to have a health screening with temperature checks prior to entry

Event, arts and entertainment venues with a capacity of less than 10,000 people in New York City were allowed to reopen on April 2, 2021 with the following restrictions:

  • Venues can exceed the social gathering limits of 500 people outdoors or 250 people indoors if all attendees over the age of four present either proof of full vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test result and the required social distancing can be accommodated
  • Masks and social distancing will be required by all attendees
  • Strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance

Indoor family entertainment centers and places of amusement in New York City were allowed to reopen on March 26, 2021 with the following restrictions:

  • Facilities must submit reopening plans with health protocols to the local health department
  • Face coverings and social distancing are required for all customers and staff
  • Customers are required to have a health screening with temperature checks prior to entry

Weddings and catered events in New York City were allowed to reopen on March 15, 2021 with the following restrictions:

  • All patrons must be tested prior to the event
  • Sign-in with contact information is required, to assist with potential contact tracing
  • Venues must notify local health departments of large events above the social gathering limit, in advance
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking
  • Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing allowed under strict guidelines
  • As of April 19, the curfew for catered events is 1 AM

Movie theaters in New York City were allowed to reopen on March 5, 2021 with the following restrictions:

  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking
  • Assigned seating will be required in all theaters
  • Social distancing between parties will be required at all times
  • Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards must be met by theaters

Billiard and pool halls in New York City were allowed to reopen on March 5, 2021 with the following restrictions:

  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking
  • Mandatory social distancing must be enforced, or physical barriers between parties of customers must be installed
  • Each party must be assigned to a table to avoid contact with other parties
  • Staff must rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment between use

Restaurants and bars must follow rigorous inspection protocols and strict occupancy limits. Restaurants and bars must follow rigorous inspection protocols and strict occupancy limits.

All restaurants, bars, catering halls, clubs, manufacturers with tasting rooms, and other food service establishments in New York City may reopen indoor dining as long as there is space available for customers to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet. Outdoor dining, takeout and delivery are still allowed. 

Restaurants and bars are required to close outdoor dining from 12 AM to 5 AM daily. Takeout and delivery are still allowed after 12 AM, except for alcoholic beverages. The indoor dining curfew was lifted on May 31, 2021.

To report a restaurant or bar not complying with COVID-19 indoor and/or outdoor health and safety rules, visit the Restaurant or Bar Reopening Complaint page.

Indoor swimming pools were allowed to reopen on September 30, 2020.

The following types of bathing facilities must remain closed:

  • Saunas
  • Steam rooms
  • Indoor spa pools

Casinos and video lottery terminal facilities were allowed to reopen on September 9, 2020, with these requirements:

  • Require use of face coverings by employees and patrons 
  • Six feet distance between operating machines or gaming tables
  • Game tables only allowed if physical barriers between players are in place
  • No indoor food or beverage service 
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, with frequent cleaning of high touch areas as well as pre-use cleaning on request 

Learn more about casino and video lottery terminal facility guidelines.

Shopping malls were allowed to reopen on September 9, 2020, with these requirements:

  • Require use of face coverings by employees and patrons
  • Additional staff to control occupancy, traffic flow, and seating to avoid crowding
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols 
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards in place

Learn more about shopping mall guidelines.

Indoor fitness activities and facilities were allowed to reopen on September 2, 2020, with these requirements:

  • Capacity limited to 33% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area, inclusive of employees and customers
  • Use of a face covering is required for individuals over the age of 2, unless medically unable to tolerate
  • Customers must sign in with contact information and health screening, remotely or upon entering
  • Proper air ventilation consistent with State-mandated requirements must be implemented
  • Cleaning and sanitizing supplies must be provided to customers and employees and shared equipment must be cleaned between each use
  • Shared water fountains are not allowed. Water bottle refill stations are permitted
  • Communal showers must remain closed. Individual showers/stalls may be used if they are cleaned between each use
  • Indoor fitness classes are allowed to reopen with sign in contact info, social distancing, and local health department inspections

Fitness activities and facilities include but are not limited to:

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Yoga/Pilates/Barre studios
  • Boxing/Kickboxing/Crossfit gyms 

Learn more about gym and fitness center guidelines.

Museums, aquariums, and other low-risk indoor cultural arts institutions were allowed to reopen on August 24, 2020, with these requirements: 

  • Timed ticketing required with pre-set, staggered entry
  • Social distancing and use of face coverings at all times
  • Controlled traffic flow to avoid crowding
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols

Learn more about guidelines for museums and other cultural institutions.

Bowling alleys were allowed to reopen on August 17, 2020, with these requirements:

 

  • Social distancing and use of face coverings at all times
  • Every other lane must be closed
  • Customers must stay with the party at their assigned lane
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use
  • Food and beverage service is not allowed

Learn more about guidelines for bowling alleys.

Phase 4 Industries

The following industries were allowed to reopen in Phase 4 on July 20, 2020:

  • Low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment businesses or activities, including:
    • Outdoor zoos
    • Botanical gardens
    • Nature parks
    • Grounds of historic sites and cultural institutions
    • Outdoor museums
    • Outdoor agritourism/agricultural demonstrations
    • Other related institutions or activities
  • Professional sports competitions with no fans

Phase 3 Industries

The following industries were allowed to reopen in Phase 3 on July 6, 2020:

  • Personal care, including:
    • Nail salons
    • Tattoos
    • Piercings
    • Spas
    • Cosmetology
    • Tanning
    • Waxing
    • Massage therapy

Phase 2 Industries

The following industries were allowed to reopen in Phase 2 on June 22, 2020:

  • Commercial building management
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Offices
  • Real estate
  • Restaurants/food services (outdoor dining)
  • Retail (in-store)
  • Retail rental, repair, and cleaning
  • Vehicle sales, leases, and rentals

Phase 1 Industries

The following industries were allowed to reopen in Phase 1 on June 8, 2020:

  • Retail (delivery, curbside, and in-store pickup/drop-off service only)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale merchants

Learn more about phased reopening guidelines for industries in New York City.

Businesses defined as essential include, but are not limited to:

  • Banks and related financial institutions
  • Bike repair shops
  • Child care centers
  • Dentists
  • Grocery and food production
  • Healthcare providers
  • Laundromats
  • Media
  • Restaurants, bars, and cafes
  • Pharmacies
  • Shipping
  • Taxis and car services
  • Utilities
  • Warehousing

Essential businesses must continue to follow the Department of Health’s safety and social distancing guidelines and maintain a clean and safe work environment.

Get information and guidance on essential services under the State Executive Order.