Businesses skirting New York’s COVID-19 mandate face greater legal risk

December 17, 2021

Long Island officials appear to be taking a relatively lax approach to the state’s new COVID-19 mandate, but businesses are still better off abiding by the rules, health and legal experts said.

Beginning Monday, supermarkets, retailers and other establishments were required to limit entrance to those who are fully vaccinated — or to require masks of all occupants, including those who are vaccinated. Incoming Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said his administration wouldn’t enforce the mandate, and his counterpart in Suffolk County, Steve Bellone, is focusing on implementing the measure through “education.”

But businesses that buck the state may still be at risk of COVID-19 transmission and of litigation, experts said Wednesday during a Newsday Live webinar co-sponsored by the Long Island Association, a regional business organization. Here’s how the panelists — restaurateur Joseph DeNicola, Dr. Chid Iloabachie of Northwell Health and Domenique Camacho Moran, a partner at the law firm Farrell Fritz — answered questions about the new policy:

Q: My office is not open to the public. Does the mandate apply?

The state has issued FAQs that indicate the mandate is in effect at all locations except private residences, Moran said. This includes factories, offices, retail spaces and houses of worship.

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  • Related Practice Areas: Labor & Employment
  • Featured Attorneys: Domenique Camacho Moran
  • Publications: Newsday