Joint Statement and Update on the COVID-19 Pandemic in New York
April 9, 2020
This morning, New York State and The Empire State Development Corporation issued an advisory entitled “Guidance For Determining Whether A Business Enterprise Is Subject To A Workforce Reduction Under Recent Executive Orders.” The advisory contains guidance on Executive Order 202.6. Executive Order 202.6 is a directive issued by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo that requires businesses in New York State to reduce the number of employees working at individual locations in New York State to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
Today’s guidance provides further information regarding whether a business enterprise is subject to a workforce reduction under the recent executive order. We do not read the guidance as affecting non-commercial recreational activities on golf courses. The guidance addresses the business of golf and the relationship of golf facilities to their employees, and further reiterates that the business of golf is “non-essential”. The guidance is consistent with our positions regarding Executive Order 202.6; that is, golf course operating employees, such as starters, locker-room attendants and other similar employees, are subject to the existing stay-at-home order. Nothing in today’s guidance supports the conclusion that golf, as a pure recreational activity, played in accordance with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines and other health safeguards, is prohibited or that private golf courses must lock their gates to members simply carrying their own bags or walking for exercise.
Our views are limited solely to the New York State Executive Order 202.6 and the written guidance issued pursuant to that Order. Golf facilities should check with other County, municipal and local authorities that may have enacted more stringent requirements regarding the use of their property.
Our views are issued as a courtesy to our members in an effort to promote consistent interpretations of the various orders and directives relating to golf courses promulgated in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak. There can be no assurance that our interpretations of such orders and directives are ultimately consistent with the intent of the governmental entities issuing such orders and directives.