In his daily coronavirus press briefing today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to issue an executive order that allows business owners to deny service and/or entry to potential customers who aren't wearing protective masks.
We’re giving the store owners the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in.’” the governor explained. “That store owner has a right to protect themselves. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store.”
The hope is that this order gives weight to business owners in their effort to enforce public health protocols as the reopening effort continues. There have been reports across the country of disputes - some of which have turned violent - between store owners (or security guards) and customers who refuse to heed mask requirements.
New Yorkers are required to cover their faces in public when they are not able to maintain the six-foot distance necessary for safe social distancing. Many establishments have signs posted that clearly state people must be wearing masks in order to enter.
"They are amazingly effective and we’ve made them mandatory in public settings,” Cuomo said of masks, which he has previously deemed "cool" (he also enlisted comedian Chris Rock and actress Rosie Perez to underscore that point today).
“But when we’re talking about reopening stores and places of business, we’re giving the store owners the right to say if you’re not wearing a mask you can’t come in," the governor added.