GOVERNOR: MASKS REQUIRED AT ALL INDOOR PUBLIC PLACES IF THERE'S NO VACCINE MANDATE
BREAKING: Governor Kathy Hochul today announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.
"This determination is based on the State's weekly seven-day case rate as well as increasing hospitalizations," Hochul said in a news release issued this morning.
"The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff. This measure is effective Dec. 13, 2021 until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions. The new measure brings added layers of mitigation during the holidays when more time is spent indoors shopping, gathering, and visiting holiday-themed destinations. "
A violation of any provision of the measure is subject to all civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation, Hochul said, adding that local health departments are being asked to enforce these requirements.
"I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas," Hochul said.
Meanwhile, State Senator Mike Martucci said in a statement this afternoon:
"It’s no surprise that less than one day after her principal Primary opponent dropped out, Kathy Hochul chose to impose a cynical mask mandate against private businesses. This is a blatantly political move, not a scientific one. The last thing businesses need is another mandate, especially one that forces them to strong arm their customers into wearing a mask or invade their privacy by checking their vaccination status. Some politicians like Hochul are using this crisis to scare and control people rather than following science and common sense. Like most New Yorkers, I thought we moved on from this style of leadership when Andrew Cuomo resigned — apparently not. I oppose this unnecessary mandate and the circumvention of the Legislature that it represents. I will work with my colleagues to overturn it."