Dec 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

NY to impose indoor mask mandate for businesses without vaccine requirement

Gov. Kathy Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul at a pres conference. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York will require masks indoors for businesses and venues that do not have a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Friday.

Driving the news: New York's statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by 43% and hospitalizations have increased by 29% since Thanksgiving, Hochul's office said in announcing the measure.

  • Late last month, Hochul declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Details: The mandate will take effect on Monday and last through at least Jan. 15, 2022.

  • Violations of the measure can result in a $1,000 fine, Hochul's office said.

What they're saying: "As Governor, my two top priorities are to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of our economy. The temporary measures I am taking today will help accomplish this through the holiday season," Hochul said in a statement.

  • "We shouldn't have reached the point where we are confronted with a winter surge, especially with the vaccine at our disposal, and I share many New Yorkers' frustration that we are not past this pandemic yet," she added.

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