Cuomo provides details on when real estate, retail can reopen

Real estate part of phase 2, but “long time” before downstate will be ready

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Starting next week, New York will gradually start to reopen, with real estate businesses among the second phase of sectors permitted to open their doors.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that real estate, retail, finance, insurance, administrative support and professional services will be among the second set of businesses to reopen as the state winds down his “New York On Pause” order. Construction and manufacturing businesses, along with select retail in the form of curbside pickup, will be the first to start back up.

The governor’s stay-at-home order is set to expire May 15, at which time only areas of the state that meet certain criteria — laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — will be able to start reopening. Cuomo listed seven different requirements regions must meet, including a 14-day decline in hospitalizations, or fewer than 15 hospitalizations per day; and a 14-day drop in coronavirus-related hospital deaths, or fewer than five deaths per day.

As of Monday, New York City only met three of the seven metrics, including the decline in hospitalizations and virus-related deaths.

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“This state has different regions that are in much different situations than other regions of the state,” Cuomo said. “If upstate has to wait for downstate to be ready, they are going to be waiting a long time.”

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Restaurants and hotels will reopen as part of the third phase, while arts, entertainment, education and other forms of recreation will be part of the fourth. While the state determined that real estate is considered an essential business, in-person transactions and showings have been restricted. Many types of construction have also been permitted to continue, including work on affordable housing projects and for other essential businesses. The city has cracked down on some sites where unauthorized work was being performed.

More than 24,000 deaths in New York have been officially attributed to Covid-19. The governor said 226 people died Sunday, the lowest single-day count seen in more than a month.

Write to Kathryn Brenzel at