Monday: Masks or proof of vaccine required in all indoor public places

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced today that masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff, and is effective Monday, Dec. 13.

The action addresses the winter surge as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise statewide to be in alignment with the CDC’s recommendations for communities with substantial and high transmission, according to the governor.

This determination is based on the state’s weekly seven-day case rate as well as increasing hospitalizations. The measure is effective until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the state will re-evaluate based on current conditions.

A violation of any provision of this measure is subject to all civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation, and local health departments are being asked to enforce these requirements, according to Hochul.    

Business/venue proof of full-course vaccination requirement   
Businesses and venues who implement a proof of vaccination requirement can accept Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, or a CDC Vaccination Card. In accordance with CDC’s definition of fully vaccinated, full-course vaccination is defined as 14 days past an individual’s last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series (14 days past the second shot of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; 14 days past the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine), according to Hochul.

The governor also stated that the state also accepts WHO-approved vaccines for these purposes. Parents and guardians can retrieve and store an Excelsior Pass and/or Excelsior Pass Plus for children or minors under legal guardianship.   

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