New York Businesses Can Now Deny Entry To People Who Aren't Wearing Masks

by Leah Groth
New York Governor Cuomo Holds Coronavirus Briefing In Manhattan
Spencer Platt/Getty

Cuomo signed an executive order giving businesses the right to deny entry to shoppers who aren’t wearing face masks

Despite the fact that several scientific studies have shown that wearing protective facial coverings reduces the transmission rate of COVID-19, and they are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some people still refuse to wear them. However, in the state of New York, non-mask wearers will no longer have the right to walk into any store, restaurant, or other business establishment of their choice. On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order giving businesses in the state the right to deny entry to anyone who isn’t wearing a protective face covering.

In April, Cuomo signed a bill requiring all people to wear a mask when unable to social distance or in public setting. However, this move is definitely a step-up in enforcement. “Today, I am signing an executive order that authorizes private businesses to deny entrance to people who do not wear a mask or a face covering,” he announced at a Thursday news briefing. “When we’re talking about reopening stores and places of business, we’re giving the storeowners the right to say, ‘if you’re not wearing a mask you can’t come in.'”

“I have been working to communicate this message about masks and how effective they are,” Cuomo continued. “They are deceptively effective, they are amazingly effective, and we’ve made them mandatory in public settings, public transportation, etc.”

Cuomo also added that it was the right of business owners to protect themselves from others, who could potentially be infected. “You don’t want to wear a mask, fine, but you don’t have a right to then go into that store if that store owner doesn’t want you to,” he added.

New York, the virus’ epicenter in the United States, has over 371,000 confirmed cases and at least 29,438 deaths, according to the latest statistics courtesy of the New York Times.

Cuomo also tweeted about the bill. “Today, I am signing an Executive Order authorizing businesses to deny entry to those who do not wear masks or face-coverings,” he wrote. “No mask – No entry.”

He followed it up with another tweet, explaining why wearing a mask is essential, not just for your health, but also for others.

Earlier in the week, Cuomo called addressed those who use the excuse that wearing a mask is uncomfortable.

In fact, Cuomo is one of the biggest advocates of mask-wearing in the country, regularly wearing them during public appearances and sharing educational messages about them on social media.

For more information about face masks, from how to wear them to why they are important, visit the CDC’s website.