All indoor public places across New York state must require masks for all people or proof of full vaccination prior to entry, a sweeping measure the governor announced Friday in an effort to curb a winter COVID surge that shows no signs of slowing.
It goes into effect on Monday. and covers any indoor space that is not a private residence.
Noncompliance comes with fines up to $1,000 for each violation and local health departments are being asked to enforce the requirements. The measure will be reassessed on Jan. 15, Gov. Kathy Hochul said. In the meantime, here's a look at three options the affected places will have starting Monday and what businesses, patrons and employees need to know about each of them. Learn more here.
Read the full text of the new state mask mandate right here.
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1. Proof of Full-Course Vaccination Requirement
Businesses and venues that 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).
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.
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 10 languages -- here.
2. Mask-Wearing Requirement
Businesses and venues that implement a mask requirement must ensure all patrons 2 years and older wear a mask at all times while indoors.
3. Continued Masking Requirements
People who aren't vaccinated are still responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. The state's masking requirements continue to be in effect for pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes and healthcare settings per CDC guidelines.
New York state continues to strongly recommend mask-wearing in all public indoor settings as an added layer of protection, even when not required. Children under 5 who remain ineligible for vaccination must wear a proper-fitting mask.
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 or contact their health providers, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers or pharmacies.
New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers
Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC