The following is a summary of major COVID 19 developments.  This page will include new regulations from New York State and the Federal Government. It also includes tool kits and information to address the economic consequences of COVID-19.  It will be updated on a regular basis.

COVID-19 Vaccine
Reopen NY Guidelines
FCC Regulations & Programs
NYS Laws & Regulations
Health Related COVID-19 Websites
NAB COVID-19 Tool Kit
Tax Relief
Marketplace - Coping with the Economics
SBA Loans
Paid Sick & Family Leave

Broadcasters are Essential Services

Federal Government

The Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. § 5189 e) includes radio or television broadcasting within the definition of an “essential service provider.”  The federal statue states further that a federal agency, “to the greatest extent practicable,” shall not deny or impede access to the disaster site to an essential service provider.  The statute can be found HERE.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a letter indicating that we are essential services.

To obtain the letter contact cjung@nysbroadcasters.org

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (CISA) just issued new guidance on the “essential critical infrastructure workforce.” See page 16 of the linked document, 7th bullet under “OTHER COMMUNITY- OR GOVERNMENT-BASED OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS”

Workers who support radio, print, internet and television news and media services, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering, reporting, and publishing news.

The new guidelines can be found HERE.

FCC Chairman Agit Pai and CISA Director Christopher Krebs also confirmed we are essential services. Click HERE.

A copy of the letter to Governor Cuomo can be found HERE.

State Government

Under Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders, the news media is considered to be an essential service.  This includes all broadcasters.  Importantly, no local or county government can override the decision allowing broadcasters to be an essential service.

The Executive Order can be found HERE

New York State has authorized television stations to operate statewide

New York State has authorized radio stations to operate statewide

You should print these authorizations and carry them with you. (Note while they are NYC, the authorization is to operate statewide.)  The web page for obtaining county specific authorizations can be found HERE.

We have prepared a NYSBA COVID-19 Travel authorization form which may be down loaded HERE

NY State COVID Requirements for Media Productions – The NY DOH has issued rules governing the production of TV shows, sporting events and news casts.  To see the regulations click HERE.

Travel Requirements for Media: New York State Travel restrictions will apply to news teams and production crews coming in and out of NY.  Media crews coming into New York will have to be tested.  As a general matter, they will be allowed to cover an event and go back to their hotel.  Because they are considered to be essential services, they may be subject to different quarantine rules depending on where they come from and the amount of time they stay in New York.

The NY State Department of Health has issued travel regulations covering these issues, including:

  • List of restricted states requiring quarantine upon entering NY (updated continually)
  • Special rules for “essential” workers. (we are considered essential workers)
  • Forms

To see the travel regulations click HERE.

New York City

In addition to COVID-19 issues, New York City has been operating under a curfew.  The key document for NY City is a “FINAST” letter from NYPD.

NYPD FINAST letter to operate during COVID-19 contact cjung@nysbroadcasters.org

Mayor’s Executive Order exempting essential services from curfew contact cjung@nysbroadcasters.org

NYPD FINAST letter to operate after curfew contact cjung@nysbroadcasters.org

Station personnel should carry some form of ID indicating that they work at a broadcast station.  In addition, they may want to carry the letters mentioned above. 

If you have any questions issues contact David Donovan at ddonovan@nysbroadcasters.org