SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With the omicron variant ‘raging across the world’, holiday travelers coming to Syracuse might wonder how our local restrictions compare to their own. Governor Hochul’s mandate requires businesses to require either masks or proof of full vaccination — but not both.

Bars and Restaurants

Restaurants and bars have the option to decide whether customers are required to mask or show proof of full vaccination. If the location has not chosen to show proof of full vaccination, customers are required to wear a mask except when they are eating or drinking. Most restaurants and bars will likely require masks to allow more customers to dine, but you can always call ahead if you’re unsure.

Despite omicron, the State Liquor Authority will allow some Syracuse bars will be able to stay open all night on New Year’s Eve. These bars include:

You can also try attending the Marriott Syracuse Downtown New Year’s Eve celebration or celebrate New Year’s at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort.


Indoor gyms, like restaurants, have the option to require masks or have customers show proof of vaccination. We recommend calling your specific gym to check what their protocol of choice is, as businesses can not choose both options. If your gym decides to require masks, they must be worn at all times except when eating, drinking, or in aquatic settings like pools or individual showers. Equipment may also be arranged differently.

Retail Stores

While retail stores have the option to choose between masks and proof of full vaccination, most will likely choose to require facemasks due to the logistics of checking vaccinations of many customers. If they choose to require masks, all employees and customers are required to wear them indoors. If you want to avoid entering a store altogether, most offer curbside pick-up or expedited pick-up inside.

Sporting Events

Professional sport venues will have the same mask or vaccine option as other indoor businesses. While collegiate sports do have different guidelines, the Dome will closely follow the protocols of professional sports, like not serving food or drink.


The Dome requires all fans five and older to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. The Courtside Lounge and Club 44 at the Dome are also closed. Masks must be worn by all patrons, regardless of vaccination status, over the age of two.

Before heading out to see a game, you might want to check to see if it has been canceled or postponed. The Syracuse Crunch postponed their game on December 29 and the Syracuse Men’s basketball team recently postponed two games. However, the Orange men are still planning to continue with their season — they host Brown on December 27.

Indoor Entertainment

Indoor entertainment, like all other places on the list, will require either masks or proof of full vaccination. Venues may likely follow retail stores and prefer the mask requirement because of easier enforcement.

Public Transportation

Public transportation continues to require masks to be worn at all times while on board. This includes Centro and flights leaving from Syracuse Hancock International Airport.