A new announcement by New York’s Governor Hochul on Friday, December 10 brings immediate requirements to New York State businesses. In an effort to stop the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state, the Governor announced that effective December 13, employees and patrons of New York businesses must wear a mask indoors unless the business requires proof of vaccination as a condition of entry. This mandate is in place until January 15 at which time it will be reevaluated.
All New York employers that do not have a vaccine requirement in place will need to ensure that all employees wear masks at all times regardless of vaccination status, except when eating, drinking, or alone in an enclosed room. If an employer instead chooses to implement a vaccination requirement, it must ensure that anyone entering the site shows proof of vaccination. These requirements affect employees, visitors, and guests.
Businesses that do not comply may face civil and criminal penalties, including fines of up to $1,000 per violation.
Earlier in the week, New York City Mayor de Blasio announced a measure that private businesses must implement a vaccine requirement for in-person employees beginning December 27. More details on this requirement are expected this week.
We will continue to monitor any developments, including any updates on the New York City guidance.