Starting today, Governor Kathy Hochul is imposing a mask mandate for all indoor public settings in New York State. According to guidance from the New York Department of Health, an indoor public place is any indoor space that is not a private residence.
The mandate comes with one notable exception: venues that require proof of vaccination for entry do not have to require masks. Since Hochul’s announcement on Friday 12/10, the state has released a list of frequently asked questions on this mandate, available here.
Hochul said she will reassess the state’s COVID-19 status on January 15. However, businesses can expect this mandate to remain in place until then.
Hochul is asking local health departments to enforce the mandate, and violations can be met with fines. The policy mirrors a mandate issued by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz last month.
The BNP remains in contact with our leaders and has urged them to hold off on restrictions that would hinder business hours/capacity and our regional economy.