On February 9, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the statewide indoor mask mandate will expire on February 10, 2022. Governor Hochul noted that while the statewide mandate has been lifted, counties, cities, and individual businesses can elect to continue to voluntarily enforce the mandate or put in place their own masking or other COVID-19 requirements.

As we have previously reported, under the mandate, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, were required to wear a mask in all indoor public places in New York State unless the business or venue required proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of entry.

While the broader statewide indoor mask mandate has been lifted, certain settings will still require all individuals to wear a mask including state-regulated health care settings, adult care facilities and nursing homes; schools and childcare centers (though Governor Hochul indicated that school masking requirements will be reevaluated in early March); correctional facilities; shelters; and public transportation (buses, trains, airports, etc.).

With lifting the statewide indoor mask mandate, New York joins New Jersey and Connecticut in easing mask requirements. New Jersey does not require masks for most indoor workplaces and has recently announced that it will lift its school mask mandate March 7, 2022. Connecticut continues to require only unvaccinated individuals wear masks indoors, but has also recently announced that its school mask mandate will be lifted February 28, 2022.

Businesses should consult their local health department guidance to ensure full compliance with COVID-19 requirements.

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Photo of Evandro Gigante Evandro Gigante

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents and counsels clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of…

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents and counsels clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of race, gender, national origin, disability and religious discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation and breach of contract. Evandro also counsels employers through reductions-in-force and advises clients on restrictive covenant issues, such as confidentiality, non-compete and non-solicit agreements.

With a focus on discrimination and harassment matters, Evandro has extensive experience representing clients before federal and state courts. He has tried cases in court and before arbitrators and routinely represents clients before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state and local human rights commissions.

Photo of Laura Fant Laura Fant

As a special employment law counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-administrative leader of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Practice Group, Laura Fant frequently counsels on a wide variety of employment matters, including employee leave and accommodation matters involving…

As a special employment law counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-administrative leader of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Practice Group, Laura Fant frequently counsels on a wide variety of employment matters, including employee leave and accommodation matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and related state and local laws. She also regularly drafts and advises on implementation and enforcement of employment and separation agreements, employee handbooks and company policies, as well as provides training on topics such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace, performance management, and the accommodation of physical and mental disabilities. Laura is a frequent contributor to Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace blog.

Before joining the Firm, Laura was assistant general counsel to the City of New York’s Office of Labor Relations. Prior to that, she was law clerk to Judge Jose L. Fuentes of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, and a judicial intern to Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Raymond Arroyo

Raymond Arroyo is a law clerk in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.