Right now, New York State restaurants and bars are part of Phase Three reopening, which would put them at reopening during the third week of June here in Western New York at the earliest.

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However, according to WKBW, The Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association is asking New York State to include restaurants in Phase Two, per the CDC's guidelines.

Here are the guidelines/plans they released to follow through with that goal, per WKBW:

  • Phase 2 – allow 50% occupancy of seated areas (dining areas), 25% occupancy of non-seated areas (bar areas)
  • Require all patrons to be seated during phase 2 (bar patrons must be in permanent or temporary seating)
  • Phase 3 – allow 100% occupancy of seated areas, 75% occupancy of outdoor non-seated areas, 50% occupancy of non-seated areas, patrons in non-seated areas must observe social distancing
  • Phase 4 – allow 100% occupancy in all areas, patrons in non-seated areas must observe social distancing

"Our plan to reopen restaurants and bars requires businesses to ensure employee wellness, require social distancing by customers & employees, and institute enhanced cleaning protocols. In addition, our plan includes a method to identify patrons who have visited our establishments in order to support the State's contact tracing program," a E.S.R.T.A. release said.

So far, there has been no response from the governor's office to find out if their request will be granted.

For now, restaurants and bars are part of the planned Phase Three reopening.