NYS COVID-19 Protocol and Mask Mandate Update

Dec 15, 2021

Effective December 13, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced masks must be worn in all indoor public places in New York unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. The indoor mask mandate was extended until February 1, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions.

“Indoor public place” has been defined to include offices and extends to private residences where licensees are conducting showings or open houses.   

If an office does not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, everyone must wear masks at all times regardless of vaccination status except when eating, drinking, or alone in an enclosed room.

During showings or open houses at private residences, if proof of vaccination is not required as a condition of entry to the residence, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status must wear a mask.  Licensees should speak to the owner as to whether they want to inquire about proof of vaccination.  If the owner does not want to inquire about proof of vaccination, licensees must ensure that all attendees of a showing or open house are wearing a mask at all times.

For more information on the new mask mandate, you can review the NY State Department of Health Commissioner’s Determination at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/commissioners-determination-indoor-masking-pursuant-10-nycrr-260 and the NY State Department of Health FAQ’s at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/node/13521

Employers must also continue to comply with the NY State Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO ACT), which affords protections for private sector employees, including  independent contractors, against an airborne infectious disease outbreak.  For more information on the HERO Act, visit the NY Department of Labor website at: https://dol.ny.gov/ny-hero-act.