An update from the Guides Association of New York City:
"There seems to be some confusion as to what all of this means for tourism and tour guides.
"In theory, our industry is part of Phase 4; that’s where ‘Arts and Entertainment’ (i.e. Broadway and museums) and ‘Recreation’ comes back. However, an already existing New York state ruling allows for non-essential gatherings of a maximum of ten people, as long as all are wearing masks/face coverings, and engaging in some manner of social distancing. So, theoretically, private walking tours could begin now- provided that they follow these restrictions. And keep in mind, the ten-person limit would be inclusive of you- the guide!"
My observation: it's theoretically possible to give a tour, but it's clearly suboptimal, since the best way to lead small groups around is to talk with them nearby and, for example, show them books and photos. It's also difficult to position people walking down a street. And, of course, it's not easy to communicate if we're all wearing masks. Also, taking public transit presents the possibility of being in an enclosed space with people who do not practice social distancing.
The bottom line: I am not ruling out tours, but I want potential clients to understand the constraints.
Wearing my hat as a journalist focusing on the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park megaproject, which includes the Barclays Center arena, I recently wrote two relevant articles for the local news site Bklyner:
Touring Brooklyn Blog
Observations and ephemera related to my tours and Brooklyn. Comments and questions are welcome--and moderated.