Governor Hochul Drops Mask Mandate

With COVID numbers vastly improved, Governor Hochul this morning announced she will allow her indoor vax-or-mask mandate for businesses to expire effective tomorrow. However, she said the policy will remain “optional” for individual cities, counties, and private businesses to keep in place. New York City, for example, is expected to do so. For now, the…
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Governor Extends Mask Mandate until February 10

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that she’s extending the state mask mandate policy, which requires New Yorkers to wear face coverings in all public indoor settings unless the area is restricted to vaccinated people through February 10th. The Governor said she will re-examine this policy every two weeks.
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Liquor Authority Cautions Licensees on Promoting Gambling

The SLA has posted a notice on the homepage of their website warning licensees that suffering and permitting gambling is still illegal. Our conversations with the Authority confirm that it will not be considered a violation and no charges will be filed against licensees if patrons are using their personal devices to place wagers. Any…
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Governor Proposes Drinks-to-Go, SLA Improvements

Governor Kathy Hochul proposed her Executive Budget last week outlining her priorities for the year ahead featuring initiatives to help restaurants, bars, and other small businesses. The Governor highlighted her proposal to permanently authorize drinks-to-go in her speech, declaring “cheers, New York,” demonstrating the special importance of this issue. The Governor’s drinks-to-go proposal would allow…
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Appeals Court Leaves Mandate in Place

The appeals court has stayed the lower court decision pending the appeal, so the mask mandate will remain in place while the appeal is pending. Please note that the State mask mandate is set to expire on February 1st so it may go away within the next week regardless of the court’s decision.
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SLA Weighs In on Mask Mandate

As we reported earlier, a State Court overturned the mask mandate yesterday. The State of New York has filed an appeal and it is likely, but not certain, that the mandate will remain in place while the appeal is pending. The State Liquor Authority isn’t party to the litigation so they are dependent of the…
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State Courts Overturns Mask Mandate – Governor Vows to Reverse

New York State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Rademaker struck down Governor Kathy Hochul’s statewide mask mandate for schools and public locations. We understand this to include restaurants, taverns, bars, etc. According to the court document, Judge Rademaker stated that neither the Governor nor the New York State Health Commissioner have the authority to enact such…
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Minimum Wage Increases Take Effect This Month

The minimum wage will increase throughout New York State, except in New York City at the end of the month. The minimum wage on Long Island and Westchester will increase to $15.00 per hour, joining New York City at this rate on December 31st. In the rest of the State, the minimum wage will increase…
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Temporary Permit, Licensing Transparency & Alternative Penalties Bills Signed

The Governor signed three bills into law this month designed to help applicants through the licensing process and provide a reduced penalty for certain administrative SLA violations: Temporary permit – With license applications taking six months or longer to be processed, the ability to seek a temporary permit is essential to starting a new business,…
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Statewide Ban on Expanded Polystyrene Foam Containers Starts

New York’s ban on expanded polystyrene foam containers and loose fill packaging, commonly referred to as ‘packing peanuts,’ begins Jan. 1, 2022. Initially, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will focus its efforts on outreach and education to ensure a smooth transition for affected stakeholders, but expect enforcement to follow. New York’s ban prohibits…
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NYS DOH Makes Mandate Posters Available

The New York State Department of Health has provided posters that can be used to clearly communicate your policy to your customers. They have made available posters for mandatory mask policies and for mandatory vaccine policies. They’re posted here and here.
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State Posts Update to Mask Mandate FAQs – Answers Some Questions, Not Others

The New York State Department of Health has updated the Frequently Asked Questions: Proof of Full Vaccination or Mask Requirement for Businesses and Venues document to further clarify the requirements imposed on businesses by the State’s masking requirement. The revised FAQ document reflects new guidance prohibiting “mix and match” vaccine and mask requirements for businesses…
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