As New York adopts CDC’s new indoor mask and social distancing guidelines for fully vaccinated people, many local businesses are left to determine what policy they will enforce.
On May 13, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks or physically distance, in any setting.
Following the new guidelines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was quick to announce that New York State would be adopting the new regulations.
In turn, many businesses on Long Island have been forced to decide their own policies regarding mask mandates or possible proof of vaccination for non-masked customers.
Larger gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and theater will all require proof of vaccination to enter. As of now, fully vaccinated ticket-holders are able to attend the events mask-less and will be seated in a separate vaccinated section of the venue. Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum and the Barclays Center are among many other venues that will be enforcing checks for proof of vaccination to enter a particular section of their venue. Non-vaccinated audiences will be required to stay masked in their socially distanced seating sections.
However, it seems many smaller and retail businesses will be enforcing the new guidelines under the honor system.
“We will not ask our guests to disclose their vaccination status, we just ask that our customers respect our employee’s personal and private health choices as well,” stated Gloss Salon in Plainview in a sign hanging in their store.
Some businesses have opted for a continuous mask mandate for their employees and non-vaccinated customers. Yet, are now allowing vaccinated customers to abide by the new CDC guidelines and shop mask-less. Stores like Walgreens, CVS and Whole Foods will be following this form of mask policy.
Following the new CDC guidelines, but requiring customers to show proof of vaccination status may also take place. With the guidelines, businesses reserve the right to ask for proof of vaccination if customers are unmasked on their property.
“We will allow customers to practice whatever mask guidelines they feel most comfortable within our shop,” said James Luca, Owner of Executive Auto Collision in Hicksville. “We will not require or ask to see proof of vaccination or testing.”
Others have decided to continue a mask-mandate for all customers, regardless of vaccination status.
“At this time, we will continue to ask our customers to wear a mask when they visit the salon regardless of their vaccination status,” said Rosanna Gutierrez, Owner of Beauty and Bridal by Rosanna in Long Beach. “Being in close proximity to our clients, all of my employees feel more comfortable in an environment where everyone is masked up and protected.”
According to experts, businesses are not violating HIPPA laws when asking for proof of vaccination.
“Since we will continue to enforce a mask-mandate, we will not be asking for proof of vaccination.” said Gutierrez. “Once the CDC says that it is safe for all individuals to go out without a mask, we will revisit our policy and make the necessary changes.”