Though a federal judge ruled against the CDC’s national mask mandate back in April — leaving public transit and transportation hubs in the U.S. mask-optional — in New York City masks were still technically required on the subway, buses & in for-hire vehicles as per a New York State Department of Health rule and the MTA’s enforcement.
As of today (9/7), however, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that the mask mandate will officially end for public transportation in New York, including on the NYC subway, buses, Long Island Rail Road and MetroNorth trains.
She announced the news in a press conference midday, citing the availability of recently approved Omnicron booster vaccines and the government’s desire to continue “adapting to the needs of all New Yorkers.”
The mandate was in place for almost two and a half years — and Hochul did state that masks were still “encouraged, but optional,” saying that “if you choose not to have a mask, it’s your own risk assessment.”
“Masking requirements will remain in effect at state-regulated health care facilities and clinical settings,” she shared on social media. “We are following the data & will continue to adjust our policies as necessary. We are still in this together.”
Now, masks are only technically required in health care settings, nursing homes, jails/prisons, and domestic violence shelters in New York.