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New York State Issues Mask or Vaccine Requirement, Effective Dec. 13th

  • 1.  New York State Issues Mask or Vaccine Requirement, Effective Dec. 13th

    Posted 12-13-2021 10:59

    New York State Issues Mask or Vaccine Requirement, Effective Dec. 13th


    On Friday, December 10, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced that effective Monday, December 13, 2021 masks will be required in all indoor settings unless the business or venue has implemented a vaccine requirement. Businesses that elect to implement a vaccine mandate must see proof of full vaccination (meaning 14 days after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or 14 days after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine). Acceptable proof of vaccination includes New York's Excelsior Pass, SMART Health Cards, or a CDC Vaccination Card.  


    Businesses that do not comply with this requirement will be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation.


    These rules apply to "indoor public place[s]," which means any indoor space that is not a private residence.  An organization's office space would be included within this definition.  This mandate goes into effect on Monday, December 13 and remains in effect until Saturday, January 15, 2022.


    Organizations have two paths to compliance only:

    • (1) a vaccine mandate for everyone on premises; or
    • (2) a mask mandate for everyone on premises.

    Organizations cannot comply with these new standards with a combination of vaccination and masking - it must be all one or all the other.  That means that organizations may not exempt vaccinated individuals from masking rules unless there is an across-the-board vaccine mandate. 
    The Vaccination Mandate Path to Compliance: 

    • Proof of vaccination must be required for everyone coming onsite. 
    • Anyone onsite who is 12 years old or older must provide compliant proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Children ages 5-11 must show proof of having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
    • Anyone onsite who is 2 years old or older and not fully vaccinated (i.e., children aged 2-4 and children aged 5-11 who are not fully vaccinated) must wear masks. 
    • There do not appear to be any exceptions for individuals who are medically unable to get vaccinated or who have a religious objection. Where an organization has an individual who qualifies for an exemption as an accommodation, it appears that organization would have to follow the masking requirement for all employees/individuals onsite.

    The Masking Mandate Path to Compliance: 

    • If the organization does not impose a vaccine mandate across the board, then it must require masking for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
    • Under the masking protocols, the only individuals exempt from masking are those aged 2-years-old or younger or those medically unable to tolerate a mask or face covering.
    • Individuals may only remove their mask while actively eating, drinking, or alone in an enclosed room.

    Health Commissioner's Determination: Please find the Health Commissioner's December 10, 2021 - Determination on Indoor Masking Pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60.


    Frequently Asked Questions: Proof of Full Vaccination or Mask Requirement for Businesses and Venues

    Timothy Atkinson