After stating last week he would terminate the proof of vaccination requirement for most indoor activities if COVID numbers “continue to show a low level of risk,” Mayor Adams has officially announced the “Key to NYC” mandate will end Monday, March 7. This also includes certain outstanding mask mandates (like in public schools).
Today (Friday, March 4) in a press conference the Mayor shared: “I’ve said time and time again that the numbers and science will guide us as we continue to recover and rebuild, and now New York City is back, and vaccinations are why we’re back. New Yorkers should be getting out and enjoying our amazing city.”
- Masks will no longer be required on public school grounds for kindergarten to 12th grade students.
- Indoor venues, including restaurants, fitness facilities, and entertainment spaces will no longer be required to check for proof of vaccination before customers enter.
Though he is lifting the overall mandate, he did say that individual businesses like restaurants can still require proof of vaccine or indoor masking if they so choose.
The city has also created a new “COVID-19 Alert System” that will help direct New Yorkers and businesses on safety precautions to take based on how many COVID cases are ongoing in the city. Right now, we are in the green or “low” leve. If we reach higher levels or have another spike, mandates will come back into play (for example, if we reached the Medium level, they say the city should “consider reinstituting Key to NYC requirements if there is a sustained increase in cases or a new, concerning variant.” You can see the full alert system here.
“Two years ago, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, but thanks to New Yorkers getting vaccinated and getting boosted we have made tremendous progress,” he continued. “The fight may not be over, but we’re clearly winning the war. We are open for business and New York City has its groove back.”
He noted that “all other vaccine mandates in New York City will remain in place at this time as they are, and have been, vital to protecting New Yorkers.” This applies to the vaccination mandate for public city workers and private sector workers, which will stay in place.
To clarify further for any confusion, this is where face masks are still required in NYC:
- Mass transit & airports
- Hospitals & healthcare settings
- Nursing homes & adult care
- Homeless & domestic violence shelters
- Correctional facilities
- The press alert also reads: “Masks will continue to be required for all settings with children under 5 years of age (where none of the population is yet eligible for the vaccine), including programs contracted by the New York City Department of Education with 3- and 4-year-old children as well as 3k and 4K classrooms in district schools.”