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February 2022: New York Lifts Mask and Vaccination Mandate

15 Feb

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of New York

What happened?
The mask-or-vaccine mandate has been lifted for the state of New York.

What are the details?
Effective February 10, 2022, statewide indoor business mask-or-vaccine requirements will no longer be enforced and will remain optional for businesses, local governments, and counties to enforce.

On February 10, 2022, the New York State Department of Labor published a revised HERO Act Model Plan which provides that “if indoor areas do not have a mask or vaccine requirement as a condition of entry, appropriate face coverings are recommended, but not required.”

New York employers remained covered by the NY HERO Act, which, through at least February 15, 2022, requires all employees to wear masks unless everyone on-site (not just employees) is fully vaccinated.  This requirement remains in place as long as the Health Commissioner continues to designate COVID-19 as highly transmissible and the current designation is in place through February 15

For more information, please see the links below:

Governor Hochul Announcement

New York Department of Health Designation Extension Order (January 15)

NY HERO Act Model Plan

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above, contact their local county/city health departments to ensure they are in compliance and to ensure the safety of their employees.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's New York PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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