Currently, there are three overlapping sets of rules that affect business operating in NoHo – Key to NYC, the NYC private employer vaccine mandate, and the State’s vax or mask rule. It’s a little confusing to keep track of who is expecting what of businesses, and how you can make sure you’re compliant with all three sets of rules, so we’ve broken them down, explained the differences, and put together this little guide to help you know what you need to do.
NYC Private Employer Vaccine Mandate:
Beginning Monday, December 27th all employees at any business in New York State must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be employed. If you interact with coworkers, the public, or clients, even infrequently, these rules apply to you. Starting that date, you were required to have at least one dose, and must receive a second dose within 45 days, meaning by Friday, February 10th.
Employers must keep a copy of each employees vaccination records, alongside their name and any accommodations (more on that below). Then, employers must display an attestation that all employees are vaccinated in a public-facing part of the business. This includes entrances to your office space, etc. You can download and print that form here.
Medical and religious accommodations are allowed under this program. Employees requesting accommodations or exemptions to the mandate are expected to provide documentation to their employer for why they are unable to get vaccinated. Businesses have wide latitude and discretion to approve or deny these requests and to determine what the right course of action is. Learn more about accommodations here.
For more information about this mandate, click here.
New York State Vax or Mask Requirement:
This is a relatively straightforward rule, and the vast majority of our businesses are already following this, even if you don’t realize it. Essentially, you must either require masks of all employees and customers in your business, or you must verify that all employees and customers are vaccinated to be mask optional. You cannot mix and match the rules, meaning vaccinated customers must wear a mask if you aren’t checking everybody’s status. This affects all “indoor public places” in New York State. Learn more about these rules here.
Key to NYC:
If you are a food service, fitness, or entertainment business, these rules apply to you. All other businesses do NOT have to comply with these rules and they do not apply to you.
Beginning Monday, December 27th, the Key to NYC program was expanded to include everybody, including children, into the program. It also upped the requirement from a single dose to both doses of your vaccine, or the single Johnson and Johnson shot. There are no exceptions and no accommodations, and this mandate encompasses both employees and customers. This is a big difference compared to the private employer mandate mentioned above.
Businesses affected by the mandate are expected to check vaccination status of all customers, and can only serve fully vaccinated customers on the premise. Customers are required to show status and should expect to do so if they intend to eat, work out, etc. indoors at these businesses. Learn more about Key to NYC here.