Gov. Cuomo issues order authorizing businesses to deny entry to those without a mask

The executive order from Cuomo comes as restrictions on shops are beginning to loosen around the state, though not yet in New York City.

News 12 Staff

May 28, 2020, 3:08 PM

Updated 1,517 days ago


Store owners who require customers to wear face coverings will now be backed up by an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The promised executive order authorizing businesses to deny entry to people without face covering comes as outbreak-related restrictions on shops are beginning to loosen, though not yet in New York City.

“We’re giving the store owners the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in.’” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “That store owner has a right to protect themselves. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store.”

Many stores already require people to wear masks to enter, but Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the right of business owners to do that had not been made explicit in law. He said the order also gives local police the ability to enforce the rule.

Ted Potrikus of the Retail Council of New York State said the order “gives retailers helpful authorization to say, 'This is our policy, you can’t come in.”’

“Retailers have, for the most part, made face masks a requirement for entry,” Potrikus wrote in an email, “but, as we’ve seen on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, there are people out there who believe they can go in to a store regardless of that store’s policy on masks.”

Cuomo said his new order will reduce conflicts between shop owners and customers who refuse to cover their faces.

Face coverings are already required in New York when people are out in public and near others.

Cuomo was joined by actors Rosie Perez and Chris Rock, who will star in ads urging New Yorkers to wear face coverings and to get tested for the virus now that testing is more widely available in hard-hit areas like Brooklyn, the site of Thursday’s briefing.

Perez said the new order would lessen also the anxiety of going into a store.

“It’s going to lessen, hopefully, the fights that are breaking out in stores when someone sees someone without a mask,” she said.

Rock admitted that he doesn’t confront people he sees on the street who aren’t wearing masks. Instead, “I give them a nice side-eye.”
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  • Gov. Cuomo to sign executive order authorizing businesses to deny entry to those who do not wear masks or face coverings.
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