New York Daily News: ALBANY, — Governor Cuomo is pushing private employers to bring workers back to the office by Labour Day — and calling on restaurants and others to deny unvaccinated patrons.

Citing economic concerns, the governor implored businesses to encourage in-person work by the end of the summer during a virtual address Wednesday before members of the Association for a Better New York.

“Everyone has to be back in the office,” Cuomo said. “I understand remote learning, I understand remote working, I understand trepidation, but the numbers are down, and we know how to do this safely.

“We need private sector companies to say to their employees ‘I need you back in the office,’” he added.

The governor lamented the loss of working one-on-one and said remote options just don’t allow for the same creativity and sharing of ideas.

The governor acknowledged fears of the highly contagious delta variant as COVID cases continue to rise in the Empire State and elsewhere in the US but said firms can bring back office culture safely. He said the return is needed to boost neighboring businesses.

“We need that volume to support the restaurants, and shops, and services,” Cuomo said. “It’s not just about the businesses, it’s all about this spin-off economy that your workers bring to the surrounding communities, and that’s what we need.”

The governor also noted that businesses have the legal right to deny services to unvaccinated New Yorkers.

“You can admit vaccinated only people into your establishment. I can argue that it is a smart business practice, because I want to go to a safe restaurant,” he said. “And it will be an incentive for people to actually get the vaccine. And I urge you all to do it.”

Cuomo pointed to Radio City Music Hall, which opened in May at full capacity to vaccinated patrons. The venue checks visitors’ vaccination status by asking to see their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination cards or through the state’s Excelsior Pass app.

Other states have gone the opposite route, with places like Alabama prohibiting businesses from requiring proof of vaccination status.

Cuomo’s comments come as vaccination efforts have stalled, prompting both the city and state to mandate all public employees either get inoculated or tested for coronavirus on a weekly basis.

The state is going further by having all patient-facing health care workers at state hospitals immunized.

  • Top Feature Photo: Companies around the US are scrambling to figure out how to bring employees back to the office after more than a year of them working remotely – Richard Drew/AP