On May 19, vaccinated New Yorkers will no longer be required to wear face masks in most settings after Gov. Andrew Cuomo aligned state regulations to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Gov. Cuomo made the announcement Monday during a news conference at Radio City Music Hall. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut coordinated their reopenings together. Cuomo added the end to the restrictions will encourage other city residents to get vaccinated themselves.
“We have to get back to life and living, and we have to deal with the way New Yorkers do it. We have to do it quickly and robustly,” Cuomo said. “Effective this Wednesday we’re going to adopt the CDC’s new guidance and regulations on masks and social distancing for vaccinated people.”
RELATED CONTENT: NYC Public Schools Will Shift To Remote Learning On Snow Days For 2021-’22 School Year
The coronavirus pandemic put the city to sleep almost overnight closing businesses, entertainment venues, and even Times Square. The state saw an average of more than 500 deaths per day at the height of the pandemic.
The deaths and the economic fallout of the virus led to an aggressive rollout of the vaccine. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio opened large 24-hour vaccination sites at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, and the Jacob Javits Convention Center. He also opened smaller community-based sites at smaller venues such as Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.
More than 42% or 8 million residents in the state are fully vaccinated putting the state No. 10 among states with the highest vaccination rates.
Residents who are either unvaccinated or immunocompromised are still required to wear masks in public and socially distance. That includes public transportation, nursing homes, homeless shelters, schools, health, and correctional facilities.
Private businesses can install their own restrictions on top of city and state guidelines.