New York executive order allows store owners to deny entry to people without masks

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new executive order Thursday that will allow private store owners to refuse service to people who are not wearing a mask. 

“We are giving store owners the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in,'” Cuomo said Thursday at his daily press briefing, held in Brooklyn, New York. 

Young people are still the primary age group not wearing masks, according to the governor. Cuomo said he believes the false notion that young people do not need to wear masks is in part due to the early belief that children and adolescents cannot get the coronavirus.

That belief has since been dispelled. All age groups can be infected and carry the virus, potentially passing it on to someone who is at a greater risk of falling seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.

When asked if he expects any conflicts to arise due to the order, Cuomo said: “It’s New York, you can have a conflict if you say ‘good morning.'” He added that people “don’t have the right” to expose a store owner to the virus.

The governor stressed that wearing a mask is a sign of respect to others, and is critical in protecting the vulnerable. 

“They are deceptively effective, they are amazingly effective,” Cuomo said of wearing a mask.