Coronavirus News: What's open, closed in tri-state area as COVID-19 pandemic wanes

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Friday, August 14, 2020

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The economies of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are slowly coming back online as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

Here's a look at what types of businesses across the Tri-State area are eligible to reopen or were considered essential and allowed to say open.


How coronavirus changed the New York region

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RELATED: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut out-of-state travelers quarantine list

New York

New York is reopening regionally as sections of the state meet certain metrics to allow for a phased restart.

The Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, Western New York, Capital, Mid-Hudson, Long Island, and New York City regions are in Phase 4.

The state has set-up a regional monitoring dashboard.

Subway and Bus

Subways in New York City have returned to regular weekday service, but the overnight 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. subway closures remain in effect. Buses are also back on regular weekday service in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.

LIRR and Metro North

As reopening across New York continues and enters different phases, LIRR and Metro-North are making adjustments to service.


New York state parks and beaches have been open for weeks, while New York City beaches reopened on Wednesday, July 1. Many beaches outside New York City are restricting access to residents only, so be sure to check before traveling to a particular beach.

Campgrounds, RV parks

Campgrounds and RV parks are open, as are all veterinary practices.

In the state of New York, the following categories of businesses were considered essential and never closed:

  • Essential Health Care Operations
  • Essential Infrastructure
  • Essential Manufacturing
  • Essential Retail
  • Essential Services
  • News Media
  • Financial Institutions
  • Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations
  • Construction,
  • Defense
  • Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses
  • Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services

For updates, visit

New Jersey

New Jersey is currently in Stage 2 of a three-stage reopening plan, though Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order on June 9 lifting the stay-at-home order and expanding the size of allowable gatherings.

Phased-in businesses include:

--Churches open at 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is less. Face coverings and social distancing required.

--Restaurants and bars for in-person, outdoor dining. Tables must be six feet apart and other safety and sanitization protocols must be followed. Indoor dining has been delayed.

--Non-essential in-person retail, with stores limited to 50% of approved capacity. Customers and employees must wear face coverings and areas used by employees must be regularly sanitized.

--Motor Vehicle Commission drop-off and pick-up services.

--Child care centers

--Libraries for curbside pickup.


--State and county parks, non-essential construction, curbside retail, drive-in activities, beaches, and elective surgeries.

--Car and motorcycle dealers along with bike shops for in-person sales

--Beauty salons and barbershops

--Outdoor pools

--Cosmetology shops

--Day and medical spas

--Electrology facilities

--Hair braiding shops

--Massage parlors

--Nail salons

--Tanning salons

--Tattoo parlors

--Campgrounds at state parks and forests

--Non-contact organized sports






--Bowling allies

--Batting cages

--Amusement and water parks


In the state of New Jersey, the following categories of businesses were considered essential and never closed:

  • Grocery stores, farmer's markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Medical supply stores
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
  • Hardware and home improvement stores
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, to deliver online purchases directly to customers, or to arrange for curbside pickup
  • Printing and office supply shops
  • Mail and delivery stores
  • Bars and restaurants for drive-through, delivery, and takeout only
  • broadband and cable services
  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair
  • Livestock feed stores
  • Nurseries and garden centers
  • Farming equipment stores
  • Child care centers, but only if they certified they would only serve children of essential workers
  • Realtors, but only to show houses 1-on-1 (open houses are prohibited)
  • Firearms retailers, by appointment only and during limited hours
  • Microbreweries or brewpubs for home delivery only

For updates, visit


Connecticut is in Phase 2 of a four-phased plan to reopen. Phase 3 has been delayed.

Phase 2 includes the following sectors:

--Amusement parks


--Indoor dining

--Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums

--Indoor recreation (e.g. bowling, movie theaters, etc.)


--Outdoor events

--Personal services (nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc.)

--Sports and fitness facilities (gyms, fitness centers, pools, etc.)

Connecticut state parks that feature beaches along the state's shoreline are open, though with capacity limitations. Visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines.

The Department of Economic and Community Development will continue to issue a list of business types permitted to reopen, which may be amended from time to time and shall be incorporated in the Sector Rules. Connecticut also launched a resource guide for small businesses.

Outdoor recreation activities are defined as the following:

--Equestrian (subject to Dept. of Agriculture guidance)

--Mountain Biking


--Boat Tours (subject to 5 passengers)

--Charter Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)

--Sport Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)

--Go Kart Race Tracks, practice only (bring your own, no rentals)


--Driving Ranges


--1:1 Training, outdoors maintain 6 feet

--Race Tracks (practice only, no spectators)

--Campgrounds (subject to DPH rules)

--Outdoor Shooting Range

--Kayaking, Sailing, Canoeing and Stand-up Paddleboarding

--Dirt Biking (practice only)

--Mini Golf

--Batting Cages


--Rope Courses


The following businesses were considered essential and never shut down:

  • Essential workers in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors
  • Healthcare and related operations
  • Infrastructure
  • All manufacturing and corresponding supply chains, including aerospace, agriculture, and related support businesses
  • Certain retail
  • Food and agriculture
  • Providers of certain services
  • Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations
  • Construction
  • Services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of all residences and other buildings
  • Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care, and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public
  • Defense

For updates, please visit

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