ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday announced he is issuing an executive order requiring New Yorkers to wear masks or other face coverings when they go out in public as part of the state's coronavirus response.
Masks will be required for situations where social distancing is not possible.
"Any situation in public where you cannot maintain social distancing," Cuomo told reporters Wednesday. "Six feet. If you can't maintain that social distancing because you're going to a congested area or its a situation where you can't maintain social distancing."
Cuomo cited public transit as a place where one would be required to have a mask as social distancing can't be maintained.
He also noted that someone going out for a walk might be able to maintain distancing, but they might encounter situations on the walk where distancing won't be possible and a mask should be worn.
There would be a possibility for a civil penalty for violations in the future, but Cuomo said he didn't want to go to a penalty yet. For now, there will be no civil penalty, Cuomo said.
But, he said, local governments should start to enforce it and remind people of the need to wear masks.
The order goes into effect at the beginning of Friday, Cuomo said.
Gov. Cuomo's Wednesday coronavirus press briefing: