New York Forces All Businesses to Choose Between Mask Mandate or Vaccine Passports Until January 15

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared businesses in the state must either implement vaccine or mask mandates until January 15.

Hochul, who replaced disgraced Andrew Cuomo as New York Governor earlier this year, issued the “temporary” rulings on Friday, claiming that the mask or vaccine requirement had to be put in place due to the rising cases of Covid, driven by the new Omicron variant. “I share New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic, but the winter surge is here & we must take action,” Hochul tweeted.

The Governor declared her “two top priorities” were to protect the health of both New York citizens and the economy, despite the fact that further lockdown measures would likely have a detrimental effect on returning to pre-pandemic economic levels.

“We are entering a time of uncertainty,” Hochul added during a press conference. “We can either plateau here or our cases can escalate beyond control. We are heading in an upward direction that I find is no longer sustainable.”

I share New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic, but the winter surge is here & we must take action.

Starting Monday through January 15, businesses will have the option to implement either a vaccine or mask requirement. 1/

— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 10, 2021

To the more than 80% of New Yorkers who have done the right thing to get fully vaccinated: Thank you. Let’s get more New Yorkers vaccinated so we can put this pandemic in the rear view mirror. 3/3

— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 10, 2021

Anyone who breaks the new rules on mask or vaccine requirements set out by Hochul could be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation, enforced by local health departments. New York City has had stringent vaccine requirements for months, with Hochul saying the rest of the state needed a “wake-up call” to the spread of omicron.

“I’ve been warning, I’ve been saying, if we can’t get more people vaccinated or boosted, I have to protect people, but also the economy,” she argued.

The ruling from Hochul follows the steps taken by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday, who announced a new vaccine mandate for all private sector employees, and confirmed that children 5 or up must get the jab to participate in normal activities, such as band, or school sports.

The Democrat mayor described the mandate as a “first-in-the-nation” measure against the virus. “From workplace mandates, to $100 incentives, to mobile and at-home vaccination offerings, no place in the nation has done more to end the COVID era. And if you have not taken this step yet: there’s no better day than today to stand up for your city,” de Blasio said in a press conference.

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