Destiny USA, the largest mall in New York, will require visitors to wear masks starting Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, adhering to Gov. Kathy Hochul's masking mandate. (Rick Moriarty | [email protected])
Syracuse, N.Y. — Destiny USA, the largest shopping mall in New York, will require all visitors to wear masks starting Monday.
The new policy follows an order by Gov. Kathy Hochul requiring masks to be worn in indoor public places to help stem rising levels of Covid-19 and increasing hospitalizations.
Destiny USA spokesperson Aiden McGuire said anyone not wearing a mask in the mall will be asked to put one on, and anyone who refuses will be asked to leave.
“Beginning Monday 12/13, as per New York State mandate, all guests who visit Destiny USA will be required to wear masks,” he said in a statement. “All health and safety protocols will remain in place at Destiny USA to ensure that all of our customers can enjoy a safe and memorable holiday shopping experience.”
Hochul’s order, which takes effect on Monday, requires masks to be worn by everyone aged 2 and older in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccination requirement. The new requirement applies to both patrons and staff.
But checking the vaccination status of thousands of daily visitors to a building with multiple entrances would be problematic. So Destiny, like many other public places, is opting to require face masks for all.
In response to Hochul’s order, Wegmans said customers to its supermarkets are required to wear masks in any state or locality where it is required, regardless of vaccination status.
“We are focused on complying with these mandates, while keeping the health and safety of our employees and customers a top priority,” the company said. “Our service desks will continue offering free masks to customers who need one.”
Wegmans said all its employees already are required to wear a face mask in its stores, even if not mandated at the state or local level.
Kathy Sautter, a spokesperson for Tops Friendly Markets, said the supermarket chain will adhere to the mandate and require all shoppers who are “medically able” to wear face coverings to do so starting Monday. She said Tops employees have been required to wear masks in its stores since August.
Target issued a statement saying it will follow all local, state and federal safety regulations “as we have throughout the pandemic”
“Like many companies, we’re awaiting further guidance on the new rule in New York so we can take the needed steps to comply,” the retailer said.
Violations of the governor’s order is subject to civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation, according to Hochul’s office.
Local health departments are being asked to enforce the new requirements. However, Onondaga County officials say they will not immediately enforce the mandate until they have had time to answer questions restaurants and other businesses have about it.
Rick Moriarty covers business news and consumer issues. Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact him anytime: Email | Twitter | Facebook | 315-470-3148
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