For Immediate Release: 12/13/2021 GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL
ICYMI: GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES MASK PROTOCOL NOW IN EFFECT, NEW FAQ RESOURCE AVAILABLE
Masks Now Required in All Indoor Public Places Unless Businesses or Venues Implement a Vaccine Requirement
See Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the New Requirements Here
Read Health Commissioner's Determination Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the mask protocol for all indoor public places announced Friday is now in effect, as well as a new Frequently Asked Questions resource for business owners and the general public.
Masks are now required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. As noted on the Frequently Asked Questions webpage, an indoor public place is defined as any indoor space that is not a private residence -- businesses and venues New Yorkers frequent that are publicly owned or owned by private business. These entities include indoor entertainment venues, concert halls, indoor sports stadiums, recreational spaces, restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, houses of worship and common areas in residential buildings. Posters encouraging people to wear masks and get vaccinated are available for businesses to use here and here.
"As Governor, my top priority is to protect the health of New Yorkers and the health of our economy, and these temporary measures will help us get through the holiday season safely," Governor Hochul said. "I share everyone's frustration that we have gotten to this point, especially with the vaccine at our disposal. I want to thank the millions of New Yorkers who have done the right thing to get fully vaccinated. We are all in this together and if others will follow suit, these measures will no longer be necessary."
This major action to address the winter surge and concern over upcoming holiday gatherings comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise statewide to be in alignment with the CDC's recommendations for communities with substantial and high transmission. The State Health Commissioner issued a determination solidifying the requirement.
This measure is effective until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions, and brings added layers of mitigation during the holiday season when more time is spent indoors shopping, gathering and visiting holiday-themed destinations.
Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "Taking this action now is critical to slowing the COVID-19 winter surge during the holidays. Each of you can contribute: get vaccinated, get boosted if you are already vaccinated and wear a mask. We urge the public to support these new requirements in indoor public places by cooperating with the venues. We need everyone to do their part to get through this together."
For information how businesses and venues can implement a proof of vaccination requirement or a mask wearing requirement, see the Frequently Asked Questions here.
COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses are free and widely available statewide. New Yorkers can visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. To schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site, New Yorkers can visit the Am-I-Eligible site. New Yorkers can also contact their health care provider, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers, or pharmacies.
New Yorkers can retrieve their Excelsior Pass or Excelsior Pass Plus here. Businesses and venues can download the Excelsior Pass Scanner app—free for any business nationwide and available in more than ten languages—here.