Phase 3 Guidelines for Licensed On-Premises Establishments

Licensed On-Premises Establishments (e.g. restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs, catering establishments, manufacturers with on-premises privileges, etc.) located in regions that have reached Phase 3, may open indoor spaces with seating for customers, in accordance with these guidelines.

 

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, all licensees should stay up to date with any changes to state and federal requirements related to such establishments and incorporate those changes into their operations. This guidance is not intended to replace any existing applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and standards.

 

Q & A Regarding Phase 3

 

Q: I am in a region which has entered Phase 3 of reopening, can I resume indoor service of alcoholic beverages?

A: Yes, consistent with the Department of Health’s interim guidance on indoor and outdoor food service (50% capacity, proper spacing, use of face coverings, etc.) found here, any other applicable guidance/law, including the ABC Law and SLA guidance. 

 

Q: I understand that in Phase 2, I was unable to serve outdoors under a fixed roof, is that still true in Phase 3?

A: No, in Phase 3, the Department of Health has provided that outdoor service may occur under fixed and temporary roofs, so long as the area utilized is open on at least two sides. 
 

Q: I am a bar/restaurant owner in a Phase 2/3 region, can I allow dancing or offer bar games such as darts, pool, or cornhole?

A: No, under the Department of Health interim guidance on dining for Phase 2 and Phase 3, all persons who are not already seated (e.g., waiting for food, or waiting to be seated), should be encouraged to wait in their vehicle and/or leave the premises.  Congregating other than persons seated at tables is not generally permissible. 
 

Q:  Regarding seats at a bar, can a group of patrons from the same party sit next to each other, or must they be separated by six feet?

A: Patrons from the same party may sit next to each other in bar areas or at communal tables, provided the party is 10 persons or fewer.  Patrons of different parties must be separated by at least 6 feet whether at bar stools or communal tables.
 

Q: Can I have live entertainment or a DJ in my outdoor dining area?

A: Restaurants  and other on premises food and beverage establishments that have a license through the SLA are only allowed to offer on-premise music if their license certificate specifically allows for such activity (i.e., live music, DJ, recorded, etc.). A manufacturer that has an on premises license also must assure that its on premises license certificate specifically allows for the type of music it is offering.  A manufacturer without a separate on premises license may offer music unless its license certificate specifically prohibits such music. 

If offering music, indoors or out, all relevant aspects of the respective Department of Health guidance dining must be followed, e.g., patrons should not be standing except for necessary reasons (e.g., restroom, entering/exiting), standing patrons should wear face coverings, etc.   
 

Q: Are bars, restaurants and manufacturers allowed to conduct tastings? 

A: Yes, consistent with the Department of Health’s interim guidance on indoor and outdoor food service (seated guests, 50% capacity, proper spacing, use of face coverings, etc.) found here, any other applicable guidance/law, including the ABC Law and SLA guidance. 

 

Q: Are weddings, parties and large gatherings allowed under the outdoor guidelines?  

A: Yes, provided the party is 10 persons or fewer in any phase 2 region and 25 persons or fewer in any phase 3 region and the business follows SLA the Department of Health’s interim guidance on indoor and outdoor food service (seated guests, 50% capacity, proper spacing, use of face coverings, etc.) found here, any other applicable guidance/law, including the ABC Law and SLA guidance. 

 

Q: Can a patron consume an alcoholic beverage on premises under this guidance without purchasing food?

A: Yes, as your on-premises service privileges require that you make food available, but do not require that food be purchased. 

 

Q: I operate under a club license that does not serve food, are we allowed to reopen under Phase 3 guidelines? 

A: Yes, a club license does not require food service, and you may open consistent with the Department of Health’s interim guidance on indoor and outdoor food service (seated guests, 50% capacity, proper spacing, use of face coverings, etc.) found here, any other applicable guidance/law, including the ABC Law and SLA guidance. 

 

Q. Where can I find more detailed guidelines on reopening? 

A: You can find detailed guidelines from the New York State Department, including an affirmation that your business is in compliance with the New York Forward reopening guidance.