New York governor issues executive order allowing businesses to deny customers without masks

National News

NEW YORK (AP) —Business owners in New York will be able to deny entry to people not wearing masks or face coverings, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

The promised executive order from Cuomo comes as restrictions on shops are beginning to loosen around the state, 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.”

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

The immediate effect of the order is unclear. Many stores already require patrons to wear masks.

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

Other coronavirus-related developments in New York:


BUSINESS REOPENING

New York City businesses that try to reopen before coronavirus restrictions are lifted will face fines starting at $1,000, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

“No, businesses are not supposed to make up their own rules and jump the gun,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing on the virus.

New York City is the only jurisdiction in the state that has not met Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s guidelines for the first phase of New York’s four-part reopening process, including having enough contact tracers to monitor people exposed to the virus. De Blasio said he expects the city to enter Phase 1, including construction, manufacturing and retail with curbside pickup, during the first two weeks of June.

Some merchants, including the owner of a Staten Island tanning salon either, have said they planned on reopening this week. De Blasio said businesses that reopen before they are supposed to will be be told to close, and if they ignore orders to shut their doors, fines will be issued.

“I’m not into free agents,” de Blasio said. “I’m not into people deciding that they get to make the rules and they can do something everyone else can’t do.”

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