Two years into the coronavirus pandemic, Tri-State area governors have agreed to broadly lift face covering mandates next week amid continually declining COVID cases and hospitalizations.
Per new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have each settled on Monday, March 7, as the day to drop one of the pandemic's most enduring inconveniences.
New York City, too, plans to use March 7 to begin peeling back many of its own mask and COVID vaccine-requirements, including the Key2NYC rules that required customers to provide proof of their COVID vaccination status before entering certain public indoor spaces.
The most significant change is that masks will no longer be required in area schools, though students and teachers are still permitted to wear masks if that's what they prefer.
While mask-wearing will be significantly reduced by next week, just like last summer, there will be a few settings in which masks are still required to be worn by all people.
- Mass transit, including trains, planes and public buses and taxis/ride share services.
- Healthcare facilities
- Correctional facilities
- Homeless shelters
- Broadway theaters will continue requiring masks be worn by audiences through April 30 at the earliest
- Individual businesses that choose to mandate masks
NYC Mayor Eric Adams says that the city will make a final ruling on Friday, March 4, after taking in more data. He signaled Monday that it would take a sudden and significant upswing in COVID cases for the city to reverse course, however.