Mayor announces Open Restaurants, rent freeze and playgrounds in phase 2 reopening
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that New York City will enter phase two of reopening on Monday, June 22.
The phase two reopening will include offices, in-store retail, outdoor dining, hair salons and barbershops, real estate, vehicle sales, leases and rentals, commercial building management, retail rental, repair and cleaning.
The mayor says an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 people will be returning to work.
The mayor says the goal of Open Restaurants is to safely restart outdoor dining, maintain social distancing and get hospitality workers back to work.
Open Restaurants will include curb lane seating, that will be a pilot program through Labor Day, sidewalk seating through October, backyard and patio seating, Open Streets seating, beginning in July and plaza seating through Business Improvement Districts.
Open Restaurants will help an estimated 5,000 restaurants and save an estimated 45,000 jobs.
Open Restaurants rules will vary by type of seating. For sidewalk seating, businesses must maintain a clear path free from obstructions between the seating and the curb. For curb lane seating, the roadway will not exceed length of business frontage and must be separated from the travel lane with a barrier.
The mayor says restrictions on areas ineligible for roadway seating including “No Standing Anytime” curbs, bus stops and within 15 feet of hydrants.
The DOT will work with community groups and partner agencies to identify addition seating within full street closures for Open Streets in July. For Plaza seating, restaurants can work with their local Business Improvement District and DOT to request additional seating in plazas.
The mayor says alcohol may be served outdoors with an existing liquor license. The city is working with the State Liquor Authority to automatically extend licenses to new seating.
As part of the Open Restaurants application, bar and restaurants will be required to self-certify that they will not allow customers not seated to gather outside their establishments.
In addition to helping restaurants reopen, New York City will also help businesses reopen. The city will be distributing 2 million more face coverings to phase two businesses. The city will also connect business owners with a directory of wholesalers selling sneeze guards, PPE and other equipment.
In addition to phase two reopening, the mayor also announced a rent freeze that was passed by the Rent Guidelines Board Wednesday night.
The rent freeze applies to around 1 million rent stabilized apartments in New York City, which is more than 2 million renters.
It will include a 0% increase on one-year leases and for two-year leases it will be 0% on the first year and a 1% increase on the second year.
Playgrounds will also be reopening during phase two for children. Social distancing ambassadors will monitor crowding, distribute face coverings and encourage hygiene. Sports teams, such as basketball, soccer and football will still not be permitted during phase two.