NEW YORK: Facing a cold-weather surge in COVID-19 infections, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday that masks will be required in all indoor public places unless the businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.
Hochul said the decision to reinstitute a mask mandate was based on a rising number of cases and hospitalisations, which has been especially pronounced in parts of upstate New York.
New York enacted a mask mandate at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020 that ended in June 2021 for vaccinated individuals. The new mask mandate applies to both patrons and staff and will be in effect from Monday to Jan 15, after which the state will reevaluate.
“We’re entering a time of uncertainty and we could either plateau here or our cases could get out of control,” Hochul warned at a public appearance in New York City.
New York joins several states with similar indoor mask mandates, including Washington, Oregon, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada and Hawaii.