I don't know about you but it's so weird to pass by the empty parking lots at area malls. I pass by Crossgates every morning on my way to the radio station and before the coronavirus pandemic, they were always packed. Now you see a few stragglers outside Best Buy doing curbside pickup. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the parking lots are going to filling up anytime soon.

According to new guidelines issued by Governor Cuomo on Thursday some businesses that we thought were going to open in Phase Two, now won't. Among those on the list are malls, gyms, and casinos.

Currently, Phase Two is on-hold waiting on international experts to review phase one data and must sign off before phase two proceeds.

The list of businesses that remain closed has also been updated Friday morning. This includes:

  • Malls - including areas with 100,000+ square feet of retail space available for lease
  • On-site restaurant or bar service; curbside and takeout service continues
  • Large gathering or event venues
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Video lottery and casino gaming facilities
  • Movie theaters, with the exception of drive-ins
  • Indoor and outdoor amusement facilities, such as places with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions www.forward.ny.gov

The rules are a little different for mall anchor stores that have a separate outdoor entrance. Mall stores that have their own external entrances separate from the general mall entrance will be allowed to open under phase two. Those stores have previously been allowed to open for curbside pickup only. www.forward.ny.gov

Another business that was expected to be open in Phase Two was indoor movie theaters. I don't know how many people really want to go to the movies and watch with an uncomfortable mask on, but some were looking forward to it. Plus, what are you going to watch? There aren't any new movies out right now.


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