Governor Cuomo recently finished a press conference where he announced that he will sign an executive order mandating that 100% of the workforce of non-essential businesses must stay home. He is calling this program New York State PAUSE (Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone). He noted that this order is mandatory and not voluntary. The State will be monitoring business activity, and any non-essential businesses that violate this order will face civil fines.
The Governor emphasized that this is not a shelter in place order, but it will limit movement of New Yorkers in an attempt to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. Individuals will still be able to go to those businesses providing essential services, like grocery stores, pharmacies, take out restaurants, hospitals, etc., and go outside for individual exercise but all other movement will be limited. When outside for these purposes, the Governor is calling on everyone to practice social distancing and remain at least 6 feet apart. For essential businesses that remain open and operational, they must implement social distancing policies and limit employee interactions to the fullest extent possible.
We have not yet seen the executive order, but we will pass along any other information that is relevant.
As a reminder, late last night, Empire State Development (ESD) issued guidance to help a business determine if they are essential or non-essential. This is a link to that guidance – https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026. The guidance also indicates: “[w]ith respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restrictions.” For businesses that are still unclear regarding their classification, ESD has established an online form that they can fill out to receive an individual designation. The form can be found here.