Andrew Cuomo Signs Executive Order Allowing Businesses To Refuse Customers Who Don’t Wear Face Masks

'We are giving store owners the right to say, 'If you're not wearing a mask, you can't come in,'' he said.

Andrew Cuomo is joined by Rosie Perez and Chris Rock at a press conference
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

'We are giving store owners the right to say, 'If you're not wearing a mask, you can't come in,'' he said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Thursday that would allow businesses to refuse entry to customers who aren’t wearing a face mask, CBS News reported.

At a Brooklyn press conference on Thursday morning, Cuomo noted that he intended the order to clear up any confusion about whether or not businesses have that right.

“We are giving store owners the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in,'” he said.

Further, he noted that business owners have the right to protect their employees and other customers.

“You don’t want to wear a mask? Fine, but you don’t have a right to then go into that store if that store owner doesn’t want you to,” he said, via The Hill.

He also touted the effectiveness of face masks, noting that the city already requires their use on the subway and in other public spaces.

Further, he noted that younger people are the age group most likely to eschew wearing masks, possibly out of the belief that they can’t get sick from contracting the coronavirus. That is not true: though older people and people with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing complications from the coronavirus than are younger and healthier people, the pandemic has not spared the young and healthy. What’s more, a young person could be carrying the virus without knowing it and could pass it on to others, particularly if they’re not wearing a mask.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: Bobby Catone looks out from behind the door of his tanning salon called Sunbelievable on May 28, 2020 in the Staten Island borough in New York City. Catone planned to open his salon in defiance of New York City Covid-19 guidelines. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
  Stephanie Keith / Getty Images

“The masks work, they work. And we have to culturalize the masks, we have to customize the masks for New York, to get New Yorkers to wear them,” he said.

When a reporter asked Cuomo if he expects any conflict between patrons and business owners over the mask rules, he noted that New Yorkers already have a reputation for being rather churlish.

“It’s New York, you can have a conflict if you say ‘good morning,'” he said.

Meanwhile, New York City remains the only part of the Empire State to have not reopened following months of being locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo is adamant that the state’s largest city won’t reopen until certain measures, such as the appropriate numbers of contract tracers, available hospital beds, and available intensive care unit beds are met.

At his own Thursday press conference, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city will likely begin Phase One of its multi-phase reopening process in the next couple of weeks.