Metro

Gov. Hochul orders NY mask or vaccine mandate as COVID surges

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Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered indoor public places statewide — like restaurants and shops — to require that staff and customers either show proof of vaccination or wear masks as officials try to staunch a slew of coronavirus outbreaks hitting upstate hard.

The new mandate will take effect Monday and applies statewide. It will remain in force until Jan. 15, when it could be extended, officials said.

“I have to protect people but also the economy. I want to make sure that the little businesses that were hurt so hard during the pandemic in a shutdown — resulting in their loss of income, [and] the loss of income of all the people who work for them,” said Hochul at an unrelated event in Manhattan, after announcing the mandate. “We have to prevent that from happening.”

The rules mirror regulations already in effect in the Big Apple, which require that eateries, bars and entertainment venues — like movie theaters and nightclubs — check patrons for proof of vaccination before being admitted indoors.

vax sign
The rules mirror regulations already in effect in the Big Apple.
UCG/Universal Images Group via G

Service industry staff in New York City are also required to be vaccinated.

However, Hochul’s order issued Friday would require grocercy stores, pharmacies and other shops to have their customers mask up or show proof of vaccination at the door.

Masks are still required on city subways, buses and the MTA’s commuter railroads.

Businesses that fail to enforce the rules could be subject to civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation.

The governor’s office said that local health departments will be in charge of enforcement.

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