Yesterday the New York State Unified Court System updated its COVID-19 policies for those entering courthouses in New York State.  Under the new guidance, anyone who can show proof of full vaccination and a valid identification can request a court-issued pass that will permit them to enter the courthouse without wearing a mask or face covering.  Earlier this summer, the court system announced that it would permit fully vaccinated judges and court employees to remove masks in non-public areas of the courthouse.  Yesterday's announcement relaxes that requirement even further by allowing both employees and visitors who are fully vaccinated to go maskless in public areas.

The full announcement is below:

UCS COVID Entry Policy- Effective July 14, 2021

If You Have Been Fully Vaccinated:
Court Users who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and can provide proof of vaccination (a vaccination card, a picture of a vaccination card on a mobile device, or a NY State Excelsior Vaccination Pass) and a  valid I.D. may request a court-issued Visitor or Attorney/Agency pass permitting them to enter a courthouse on that day:

• without completing a health safety screening; and
• without wearing a face covering or mask.

Attorneys or staff of public or private agencies who regularly conduct business inside a court facility and have a valid secure pass or valid office/agency ID Card along with proof of vaccine as indicated above may apply for a 90-day pass.

The Visitor or Attorney/Agency pass must be worn on the outermost piece of clothing at all times while in the court facility.

Please speak to a Court Officer for details about the policy and to obtain your pass.

If You Have Not Been Fully Vaccinated:
Unvaccinated Court Users (or those who do not have proof of vaccination) are required to submit to temperature screening and a COVID-19 risk assessment inquiry before entering a court facility and will be required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and follow the health and safety instructions of court personnel.

 You Should NOT Enter a Courthouse if You:

  • Have flu-like symptoms; or
  • Have recently tested positive for COVID, or have been directed to quarantine, isolate or self-monitor at home for the coronavirus by any doctor, hospital, or health agency; or
  • Have recently had close contact with a person testing positive for COVID (unless you are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID*); or
  • Have returned from international travel within the last 10 days (unless you returned 8-10 days ago and took a viral COVID test 3-5 days after your return**).