NEW YORK (WABC) -- Store owners who require customers to wear face coverings will now be backed up by an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The promised executive order authorizing businesses to deny entry to people without face covering comes as outbreak-related restrictions on shops are beginning to loosen, though not yet in New York City.
"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 his daily briefing. "That store owner has a right to protect themselves. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store."
Many stores already require patrons to wear masks.
But Ted Potrikus of the Retail Council of New York State said the order "gives retailers helpful authorization to say, 'This is our policy, you can't come in."'
"Retailers have, for the most part, made face masks a requirement for entry," Potrikus wrote in an email, "but, as we've seen on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, there are people out there who believe they can go in to a store regardless of that store's policy on masks."
Cuomo said his new order will reduce conflicts between shop owners and customers who refuse to cover their faces.
Face coverings are already required in New York when people are out in public and near others.
Cuomo was joined by actors Rosie Perez and Chris Rock, who will star in ads urging New Yorkers to wear face coverings and to get tested for the virus now that testing is more widely available in hard-hit areas like Brooklyn, the site of Thursday's briefing.
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