Major COVID Rules Extended in New York, Fines For Not Following
As New York continues to set COVID records new COVID rules were extended and New Yorkers face expensive fines if caught breaking the new rules.
Last month, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.
Hochul called this "major action to address the winter surge."
The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff. The measure went into effect on Dec. 13, 2021, and was slated to last until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions.
In the days and weeks that followed Hochul's mask mandate, New York has set many new daily COVID records.
On Jan. 1, Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed over 85,476 COVID tests came back positive in the previous 24 hours. That number sets a new daily record.
On New Year's Eve, Hochul announced she is extending the mask mandate for at least two more weeks.
"New York State is mobilizing every resource at our disposal to fight the winter surge and keep New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said. “We can get through this surge through targeted actions, partnerships with local leaders, and by taking common-sense steps to keep us all safe: get vaccinated, get boosted, and wear a mask indoors.”
Masks must now be worn indoors until at least Feb. 1. The extended mask mandate is part of Hochul's "Winter Surge Plan 2.0" plan. See the full plan below.
“We have every tool to keep our families and communities safe,” Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said.
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. Local health departments are being asked to enforce these requirements.
Below is more information on the extended COVID rules:
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). 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.
Business/Venue Mask-Wearing Requirement
- Businesses and venues that implement a mask requirement must ensure all patrons two years and older wear a mask at all times while indoors.
Continued Masking Requirements
- Unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. Further, 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 health care settings per CDC guidelines.
- New York State and the State's Department of Health continue to strongly recommend mask-wearing in all public indoor settings as an added layer of protection, even when not required.
- Children 2 - 5 who remain ineligible for vaccination must wear a proper-fitting mask.
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