What NYC families need to know about Phase 2 and Phase 3 reopenings

From daycare openings to new summer camp rules.

Written by
Oliver Strand
Coivd Outdoor Dining
Photograph: Shutterstock

New York City continues to reopen.

The Big Apple is currently in Phase 2, and Phase 3 will start July 6, provided the city meets the seven required health-related benchmarks. But remember, we're living in a new normal: Masks, social distancing and reduced capacity are the conditions of almost all reopenings.

What does that specifically mean for NYC families? Here's what families can and cannot do in NYC broken down into Phase 2 and Phase 3.

What is open under Phase 2?

• Child care and summer day camps can reopen if they follow strict guidelines. (Sleepaway camps will remain closed for the summer.)

Playgrounds are reopening. Children over the age of 2 must wear a mask, and everybody must practice social distancing. 

Dentist offices can reopen with a limit on the number of patients and staff.

• Hair Salons can reopen with limited service. (If you'd rather cut your child's hair at home, we have some professional advice for you.)

• In-store retail can reopen, with a limit on customers inside.

• Restaurants can reopen for outdoor dining with a limited capacity. Check out the best outdoor restaurants for families in NYC

• The MTA's subway and buses have been back to full service since Phase 1. All passengers and staff must wear a mask in stations, on trains and on busses. (If you forget a mask, one will be provided to you.) When taking a bus, you must enter and exit through the rear door. You can read more about what to expect on public transportation here.

What will open under Phase 3?

Libraries can reopen, but it will be a slow process. The NYPL will start with opening eight branches across Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. The Brooklyn Public Library will bring in library staff to six branches. The Queens Library will open six to eight branches.

• On July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that NYC would not reopen indoor dining. "Indoors is the problem, the science is showing it more and more," the mayor said. "We cannot go ahead at this point in time with indoor dining in New York City. Even a week ago we were hopeful we could but it keeps getting worse and worse around the country."

What about Phase 4?

New York City could reach Phase 4 as early as July 20, which means that arts-related institutions like museums could reopen. In fact, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has an official reopening date of August 29. However, shopping malls, gyms and movie theaters will not be permitted to reopen in Phase 4, according to NBC New York. 

As for NYC Schools, they're a part of Phase 4, but it's unclear if they will reopen in September. An announcement is expected over the summer. Be sure to check out our update on NYC schools for all of the latest news. 

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