Phase 2 of reopening begins Friday, but businesses confused about guidelines

Updated: May. 28, 2020 at 4:17 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Phase 2 of reopening starts Friday. However, which businesses can start along with it isn't exactly clear.

Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray has gotten nonstop phone calls from concerned business owners confused over the lack of guidelines.

He says it's hard not having concrete answers for them.

"Somehow, the guidelines have been held up. We were told yesterday they should have been online last night. They are not," he said.

Gray says we can't even be sure what businesses are actually going to be allowed to open.

The state has listed professional services, real estate, administrative support and storefront businesses among ones that can reopen.

But, some businesses included in those categories, like hair salons and the Department of Motor Vehicles, were closed by separate executive orders - so those orders need to be ammended simultaneously as Phase 2 starts.

If that sounds confusing, it's because it is.

"It's complex in the fact that there are, like, 32 executive orders now," said Gray.

But some businesses aren't about to sit around and wait for the mess to get sorted out.

“Our region is still meeting the seven criteria, so I’m assuming we’re still opening tomorrow and we’re really excited,” said Michelle Peckham, owner, A New Attitude Salon Spa. “We have all the sanitizers you need, we have plexiglass at the nail stations, our girls have PPE, we have screens between the stations so if you’re less than six feet apart, you have that divide.”

Some of the employees even got certified in cleanly hairdressing during a pandemic.

But while Governor Cuomo has yet to announce if they can actually go through with reopening and how, he did make another executive order.

"Today I am signing an executive order that authorizes private businesses to deny entrance to people who do not wear a mask or a face covering," said Cuomo.

That will be each business’ call to make when they reopen, whether that be Friday or not.

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