Most Remaining COVID-19 Restrictions Have Been Lifted, Effective Today

June 15, 2021

On June 7, 2021, Governor Cuomo announced that most remaining COVID-19 restrictions on businesses would be lifted when 70% of adult New Yorkers have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Today, New York hit that 70% threshold.

Therefore, effective today, June 15, 2021, the New York Forward industry guidance, including capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning/disinfection requirements, health screening and contact tracing, will become optional for most businesses, including offices, retail, food services, gyms, amusement/family entertainment, hair salons/barber shops, personal care services, and other businesses.

New York is still adhering to CDC guidance, so unvaccinated individuals are still responsible for social distancing and wearing masks in commercial settings.

Although New York is lifting COVID-19 restrictions for most businesses, businesses may still choose to follow the New York Forward industry guidance, or set other health protocols for employees and/or patrons, such as continued capacity restrictions, social distancing, masking for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers and customers, screening, etc. Except for those industries exempt from this announcement, businesses may, at their option, require proof of vaccination status, or may rely upon self-reporting of vaccination status. Any mask requirements implemented by businesses must adhere to applicable law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

All current restrictions will remain in place for public transit, schools, health care settings, homeless shelters and correctional facilities. Further, large-scale events must continue to adhere to the State’s existing COVID-19 protocols.

Governor Cuomo’s June 7th announcement is available here: Governor Cuomo Announces Most Remaining COVID-19 Restrictions to Be Lifted When 70% of Adult New Yorkers Have Received First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine (

Governor Cuomo’s announcement from today is available here: Governor Cuomo Announces COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted as 70% of Adult New Yorkers Have Received First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine (

As a reminder, the New York Department of Labor is expected to issue minimum industry-specific health and safety standards aimed at preventing exposure to airborne infectious diseases in the workplace by July 5, 2021, pursuant to the NY HERO Act.

Please contact a member of Herrick’s Employment Group with any questions. 

Carol M. Goodman at +1 212 592 1465 or [email protected]
K. Heather Robinson at +1 973 274 2006 or [email protected]
Meaghan Roe at +1 212 592 1632 or [email protected]
Silvia Stockman at +1 212 592 1583 or [email protected]

© 2021 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.