State allows automatic car washes to reopen –

New York State has eased restrictions on some car washes after appeals from owners and a business association, allowing the businesses to reopen as long as there is no customer-employee interaction.

Automated, external car washes that allow customers to pay via phone app, automatic kiosk, subscription plan or contract are now permissible.

Employees cannot accept payment from customers, according to the new guidance over the weekend from the Empire State Development Corporation. That’s the state economic development corporation that issues rules on what businesses are essential amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Additional rules for car washes include:

  • Automated car washes can only be open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Only two employees may be allowed on site at a time, one to maintain the machinery and another to maintain traffic flow and disinfect machines and kiosks. They must wear masks.
  • Employees cannot vacuum, detail, dry or apply cleaning products to vehicles.
  • Social distancing must be enforced among customers and employees.

The change comes after pressure the Tom Hoffman Jr., owner of the Hoffman Car Wash, and the New York State Car Wash Association, according to the Albany Business Review. The chain operates 21 car washes in the Albany and Binghamton areas.


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