GANYC continues to work to be a leader in the NYC tourism industry, as we all work toward what is sure to be a long recovery for guides in this COVID world (among other efforts, we remain a proud Allied Organization member of the NYC & Company Coalition for NYC Hospitality & Tourism Recovery). GANYC has formed its own internal subcommittee on Healthy & Safety Protocols, to give our own approved advice on how guides can most safely prepare a return to work. This report will be published soon. Finally, the development of our Tour Your Own City initiative is in its final phases, and we plan to officially roll this out within the next couple of weeks, with full details at our July 1 online membership meeting.
The good news is that GANYC has confirmed that tour operators can return in New York (with restrictions) in our current Phase 2 environment. We encourage all tourism-based companies and guides in NY to explore the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Wizard to see what can be open and what cannot:
What is currently allowed? "Outdoor guides: permitted so long as personal contact is minimized and social distancing protocols, including acceptable face covering when individuals are less than six feet apart from one another, are adhered to by all parties." Vehicle-based tours, and indoor tours, are still restricted, and we believe they will not be able to return until Phase 4. We will keep everyone updated as we learn more.
The site also notes that "in order to be fully compliant, you must develop a business safety plan." Companies/guides/operators should read the following page of guidelines, and you may fill out the affirmation at the bottom:
You will then access the following safety plan template:
This will all help you understand New York state guidelines, and help you prepare and think through the best and safest way to return to operating while the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment, hopefully early next year. We thank all our members for their support, and please know that GANYC will continue to work to stay up to date on all regulations and changes that affect the guiding profession.