Mask Rule in New York

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NEW YORK CITY — New Yorkers heading out of their homes into a public place must wear a mask starting Friday under an order issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Here’s what you need to know:

Where must I wear a mask?

Any place where you cannot maintain social distancing, meaning when you can’t be greater than six feet away from other people who do not live with you. If you’re walking down an empty street, a mask isn’t needed, the governor said. It’s essential on public transit and applies to everybody over two years old.

What type of mask do I need to wear?

Anything that covers you mouth and nose. It could be a mask, a cloth or a scarf.

Why do I need to wear a mask?

It’s more to protect others than yourself, the governor said. You could be infected with the coronavirus but not be showing any symptoms, but that doesn’t stop you from spreading it to others.

When does this rule go into effect?

It’s a Executive Order and it goes into effect at 8 p.m. Friday, April 17.

What happens if I don’t wear it?

There may be a civil penalty if you don’t wear it, but the governor was vague about what it will be. So far, policing of social distancing rules has involved police directing people to adhere, but has avoided the issuing of tickets. “I haven’t given anybody a ticket for violating anything,” Cuomo said.

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