New York City restaurants and bars will open over multiple phases. Each phase will have different requirements based on seating/dining types, occupancy levels, and protocols.
As of today, restaurants and bars generally have the following reopening guidelines:
Updated guidelines and rules for dining operations have been developed by New York State and must be followed throughout the reopening phases. These include guidelines for physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, communication, and screening.
These guidelines and requirements may change, so please check the New York Forward site regularly for specific phase instructions.
If you have any questions, you can call our hotline, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
You can also visit nycsmallbizcourses.eventbrite.com and search "Reopening Guidelines" to sign up for an upcoming webinar to learn about State requirements, recommendations, and resources available to help businesses reopen in NYC.
Select a topic below for information to help you and your business, including tips to stay safe and prevent the spread of germs.
Remember the four key actions all New Yorkers should take to prevent COVID-19 transmission:
These guidelines, and other health and safety protocols, apply to all areas of your operation, including any outdoor dining areas.
In Phase Two, NYC restaurants can open for table service in outdoor areas only. “Outdoor space” is an open-air space without a fixed roof. Outdoor spaces may include yards, tables and chairs on the sidewalk or street or other public areas, or other outdoor areas on premises.
Establishments seeking permission to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway should apply for the NYC Department of Transportation(DOT)'s Open Restaurants Program. This program is designed to help existing NYC restaurants that have been authorized by New York State to re-open under Phase Two and want to use additional outdoor areas on a temporary basis.
Note: This application is only for establishments seeking permissions to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway. You do not need to apply if you are looking to place outdoor seating on private property. For more information, please read the NYC Open Restaurants FAQ, as well as ConEdison's requirements to ensure access and ventilation of utilities during outdoor seating.
For help completing the application, please call the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) hotline: 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
For questions about the Open Restaurants program, self-certification process, or translation assistance with the application, please contact DOT online.
As NYC re-opens post-COVID19 and restaurants expand outdoor seating to accommodate social distancing, we cannot forget about accessibility. This information lays out the requirements for maintaining physical accessibility for outdoor dining.
NYC is temporarily expanding outdoor seating options for food establishments during Phase Two of NYC’s reopening. The program is expanding weekend seating options for restaurants on select restaurant corridors citywide by temporarily closing streets to traffic to create outdoor dining space. Community-based organizations, BIDs and restaurant groups applying through a single entity may apply for Open Streets: Restaurants online.
The NYC Department of Small Business Services offers one-on-one free virtual compliance consultations to help you understand how to comply with key City rules. This program clarifies existing regulations for the Open Restaurants Program. Our virtual consultations will help you understand common compliance challenges related to the Open Restaurants Program - we will not issue violations or fines. Please click the link below to sign up for a consultation.Virtual Compliance Consultations
On June 18, Governor Cuomo amended Executive Order 202.43 (EO) to include updated guidance for food and beverage establishments effective immediately.
Under the amended Executive Order 202.43, businesses selling or serving alcohol to be consumed at the business or elsewhere must ensure that everyone within 100 feet of their business is:
Violations could result in having a license suspended or revoked, with fines up to $10,000 per violation.
Patrons can also be fined for breaking open container or social distancing rules.
NYS Liquor Authority (SLA) Guidance on Outdoor Expansion of Licensed Premises in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
Read SLA guidance and FAQs about on-premise licenses in relation to outdoor dining and “to-go” alcoholic beverages here.