Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams both announced an end to mask and vaccine mandates. Masks and vaccine passports will no longer be required in many indoor spaces and individual businesses will be able to choose continue to uphold the mandates or abolish the practice.
Gov. Hochul said she decided to lift the mandate due to declining COVID-19 infection rates, as well as an increase in the state’s hospital capacity and vaccination rates. The indoor mask mandate was reimplemented in December during the omicron surge, and Hochul said in a recent statement that New York has come a long way since then.
“New Yorkers did the right thing to get through the winter surge, and we can now lift the statewide mask-or-vaccine requirement for indoor businesses starting tomorrow,” said Hochul.
Masks will still be required in some indoor spaces, such as health care facilities and on public transportation. The mask mandate for New York schools also remains in effect, though the governor said state officials will reevaluate the mandate in March.
In New York City, the decision to require masks or vaccinations falls on individual businesses. Mayor Adams press secretary, Fabien Levy said in a recent statement that New York City government officials still encourage city residents to mask up indoors even without the mandate.
“We are continuing to follow the science and the guidance of public health professionals to keep New Yorkers safe. We encourage all New Yorkers to continue to wear high-quality masks when indoors or in crowded spaces and to get vaccinated and boosted to stop the spread,” said Levy.
Masks are still required in New York City schools and other indoor spaces such as nursing homes and healthcare facilities. The decision to end vaccination mandates and city run passports was due to the lower COVID-19 infection rates among the population, Adams said at a news conference.