Over the last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed executive orders surrounding the pandemic, and has also continued to slowly open businesses, such as gyms and bowling alleys.
One executive order signed by the governor extended the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures an additional month, until Sept. 20. This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants.
“While we have made great progress in keeping New York’s infection rate low, this pandemic is not over and as we continue to fight the virus, we are continuing to protect New York businesses and residential tenants who face financial hardship due to COVID,” Governor Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo first announced a State moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The commercial eviction and foreclosure moratorium was extended through Aug. 20 by Executive Order, and the Governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act and additional legislation to protect residential renters and homeowners from foreclosure or eviction due to a COVID-19 financial hardship.
Governor Cuomo also ordered additional protection for residential renters from charges for late payment of rent and allowing tenants to use security deposits to pay rent for residential tenants.
The governor last week also announced that gyms and fitness centers could reopen in New York starting Aug. 24. Facilities that reopen will be subject to rigorous health and safety standards and all gyms and fitness centers will be able to open by Sept. 2.
“As New York maintains daily positive test rates below 1 percent, the State has determined that local elected officials can allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen at 33 percent capacity while following rigorous safety protocols, including wearing masks at all times,” Governor Cuomo said.
To learn more about the guidelines, visit https://forward.ny.gov.
The governor also announced that bowling alleys throughout New York will be allowed to reopen starting Monday, with strict safety protocols in place. Bowling alleys will be able to operate at a 50 percent maximum occupancy limit; face coverings and social distancing will be required at all times; every other lane must be closed; patrons need to stay with the party at their assigned lane; thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use will be required; and all food service must follow all state-issued guidance.
In addition, last week the governor announced that two additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days. The newly added states are Alaska and Delaware. No areas have been removed.
Also, on Thursday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law sweeping election reforms that his office states would make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November.
The three-part package includes new measures allowing absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately, expanding the necessary protections to allow a voter to get an absentee ballot due to risk or fear of illness including COVID-19 and ensuring all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after the Election will be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by Nov. 10.
We will have more on absentee voting and how the count will be conducted as we get closer to this year’s General Election.
For more details on guidance from New York State, visit https://forward.ny.gov.