• Alan Goldberg

UPDATE ON NY MASK OR VACCINE REQUIREMENT 12-15-21

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

The state issued FAQs to clarify the mandate set forth on Friday by the Governor. Some of these FAQs are below:


What exactly are the requirements?

Any person who passed their second birthday and is medically able to tolerate a face covering must wear an appropriate mask while in any indoor place, regardless of vaccination status. However, businesses and venues can choose to implement a vaccination requirement, requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of entry inside the business or venue. Whichever requirement is selected, it must apply to all within the business/venue’s capacity, including staff, patrons, visitors, and guests. A business and venue cannot do a “combination” requirement.


Please see below for the details of each requirement option:


Business/Venue Proof-of-Vaccination Requirement

Businesses and venues that implement a proof-of-vaccination requirement must ensure that anyone 12 years of age or older is fully vaccinated before entering indoors.


Businesses/venues can accept Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, full-course vaccination through NYC COVID Safe app, a CDC Vaccination Card, or other official immunization records.


Business/Venue Mask-Wearing Requirement

Businesses and venues that implement a mask requirement must ensure all patrons past their second birthday and medically able to tolerate a face-covering wear a mask at all times while indoors, outside of physical eating, or drinking.


Can a business or venue “mix and match”? For example, can a business or venue allow fully vaccinated patrons to be unmasked, but unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated patrons to wear masks in the same indoor facility? What about allowing patrons to be unmasked when everyone in the facility is fully vaccinated, but asking everyone in the facility to wear a mask when someone who is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated enters?

No. A business or venue must choose whether it will implement a full-course vaccine requirement or a mask requirement, which ​applies to both patrons and employees, and then this policy must be followed in its entirety throughout the facility at all times each day.


All of the FAQs can be found here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/frequently-asked-questions-proof-full-vaccination-or-mask-requirement-businesses-and-venues


Our firm provides the information in this blog for general guidance only and does not constitute the provision of legal advice.

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