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New York Gov. Cuomo says businesses will be allowed to deny entry to people not wearing a face covering

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo conducts a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., after a meeting with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call | Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an executive order Thursday to authorize businesses to deny entry to people who are not wearing masks or face coverings. 

“I’ve been working to communicate this message about masks and how effective they are. They are deceptively effective. They are amazingly effective, and we’ve made them mandatory in public settings, public transportation, but when we talk about reopening stores and places of business, we’re giving the store owners the right to say, ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in.'” Cuomo said at a news briefing in Brooklyn. 

The governor first ordered New York residents to wear face coverings while in public on April 15 during the height of the epidemic. 

The executive order took effect on April 17 and said any individual over age two is required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering when in a public space and unable to maintain social distance.

The original announcement did not clearly state whether private businesses are allowed to deny entry based on face coverings. A spokesperson for the governor wasn’t available for immediate comment on this clarification.

Private businesses have the right to refuse service and many stores and restaurants in New York have put up signs on their doors asking all customers to wear a mask or face covering upon entering. 

“That store owner has a right to protect themselves. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store,” Cuomo said.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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