Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a statewide mask mandate requiring maks to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.
This statewide requirement that extends to both patrons and employees of businesses and venues goes into effect on Monday, December 13th and will be re-assessed on January 15th based on current conditions.
New York State Department of Health Acting Commissioner Mary T. Basset issued a Determination on Indoor Masking requiring masks to be to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. The Department has published Frequently Asked Questions: Proof of Full Vaccination or Mask Requirement for Businesses and Venues to further clarify the requirements imposed on businesses by the State’s masking requirement.
Under these rules, everyone over age two and able to medically tolerate a mask, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear an appropriate mask while in any indoor public place. This means any indoor space that is not a private residence, including but not limited to entertainment venues, concert halls, indoor sports stadiums, recreational spaces, restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, and common areas in residential buildings.
The masking requirement does not apply to any indoor public area that requires proof of vaccination as a condition of entry. The Frequently Asked Questions document clarifies that businesses and venues that implement a proof of vaccination requirement must ensure that anyone 12 years of age or older is fully vaccinated, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before entering indoors (one shot of the Johnson & Johnson or two shots of the ModernaPfizer vaccines. Children ages 5 – 11 only have to show proof of having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.