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Businesses Can Turn Away Customers Who Refuse to Wear a Mask: Cuomo

(Wikimedia Commons/ Nickolay Romensky)

May 28, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New York businesses will soon be able to turn away customers who aren’t wearing a mask.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would be signing an executive order today giving businesses the right to boot out any customer who refuses to wear a mask.

The new directive, referred to as the ‘no mask, no entry’ order, means any private business in the state can deny entry or services to a customer who lacks a mask or other face covering.

“We’ve made [masks] mandatory in public settings, public transportation, et cetera,” Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. “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.'”

It’s unclear when the directive will take effect.

The order builds upon earlier guidance from the city.

In April, Mayor Bill de Blasio similarly advised New York City grocery stores to require customers to wear a face covering while shopping.

De Blasio said every grocery store has the right to make the requirement and any customer who refuses to wear a covering could be denied entry into the store.

“That is legal and appropriate,” de Blasio said on April 15. “The City will back you up.”

The mayor said store employees could call 311 to have police officers come and assist them if a customer refused.

Governor Cuomo’s new order ensures businesses have the authority to deny unmasked customers if they choose to.

“That store owner has a right to protect themselves,” Cuomo said.

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