Hochul Implements Statewide Indoor Mask Mandate

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday that her administration will be implementing an indoor mask mandate statewide in anticipation of a winter surge of COVID-19.

Beginning on Monday, December 13, all New Yorkers will be required to wear masks in all indoor public places unless the particular business or venue requires vaccination for entry. Children from 2 to 5 years of age who are currently unable to be vaccinated are expected to wear masks under this policy. The new requirement will last through January 15, 2022 and will be reevaluated at that time.

In a statement announcing the new mandate, Hochul cited a reduced capacity in state hospitals and the recent rise of cases as reasons for the move.

“As Governor, my two top priorities are to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of our economy. The temporary measures I am taking today will help accomplish this through the holiday season,” Hochul said. “We shouldn’t have reached the point where we are confronted with a winter surge, especially with the vaccine at our disposal, and I share many New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic yet.”

Regarding enforcement of the new mandate, “Local health departments are being asked to enforce these requirements,” the Hochul administration said, explaining that businesses that violate the new policy risk a maximum fine of $1,000 per infraction.

Hochul Implements Statewide Indoor Mask Mandate