Albany businesses make COVID protocol decisions ahead of new requirements taking effect Monday

Regional News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced new COVID protocol requirements that are set to take effect on Monday. The guidelines leave businesses with a decision: Require proof of vaccination, or require masks.

“I have to protect people, but also the economy,” Governor Hochul said during a Friday press conference.

Savoy Taproom on Lark Street has made the decision to require proof of vaccination upon entry to their bar and restaurant.

“We’ve decided that, considering people do need to remove their masks to eat and drink, it really is, in order to keep people safe, the wisest thing to do,” said General Manager Trudy Steier. She added that staff of the restaurant are also required to be vaccinated.

Steier is hoping the guidelines will loosen up in the future, but for now, she’s focused on Monday, when she likely will put up notices at the restaurant about their policy.

“We just feel like to stop the spread of the new variant, we just need to be smarter and a little bit stricter about the rules,” she explained.

Bare Blends owner, Annie Berdar, is going the other route with her smoothie shops that can be found in Albany, Clifton Park, and Latham. Many of her customers run in to grab to-go orders or pick something up at the counter. For Berdar, having someone at the door to check vaccination cards every time someone comes in is less practical.

She plans to put signs outside her stores saying masks are required for entry.

“We want to keep everybody safe and happy and healthy,” said Berdar, “so please do your role in the community and be part of that.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health says customers at restaurants can still remove their masks when they sit to eat.

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