New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that authorizes businesses to deny entry to those not wearing face coverings. Cuomo signed the bill May 28 in an effort to help stem the spread of coronavirus. New York has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.

The order follows multiple publicized instances of businesses not allowing customers to enter because they weren’t wearing masks.

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Cuomo said of the executive order, “That store owner has a right to protect himself. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store.” New York has experienced 23,282 deaths from the coronavirus, the most of any state in the nation.

“You don’t want to wear a mask, fine, but you don’t have a right to go into that store if that store owner doesn’t want you to,” he added while announcing the measure at his daily coronavirus briefing.

Businesses are still waiting for specific language and information for the order, including related fines. Greg Biryla, who heads the New York office of the National Federation of Independent Business, told NBC News, “The governor’s reinforcement that businesses have a right to require that customers wear face masks is a good thing. As long as we are clear that the businesses have a choice, because some businesses are not equipped or may not be able to turn away customers who don’t wear masks.”

Experts have responded to critics that say masks are an infringement of constitutional rights by reminding them of decades of “no shoes, no service,” policies that have been in place for decades.

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Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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