Mayor Eric Adams told reporters in a press Q&A session yesterday, February 23, that he “can’t wait” to phase out the requirements, multiple on-site news outlets reported.
The mayor made the statements when reporters asked if he would follow other major cities that have recently laxed their COVID policies, like Boston (which removed their indoor proof of vaccine requirement last week) and Chicago (which is lifting its mask & vaccine requirement on the last day of this month).
He did say he will “follow the science” in regards to a timeline for lifting the rules, and that he doesn’t want to act prematurely. Still, AMNY reported that a plan would be rolled out by the city in the “next day or so.” They quoted him saying:
Every morning I meet with my health professionals ’cause I’ve always stated I’m going to follow the science. I’m not going to get ahead of the science, because I’m ready to get ahead of all of this and get back to a level of normalcy. But they’re giving us clear structures. They gave us benchmarks. We’re going to follow those benchmarks, but I look forward in the next few weeks of going through a real transformation that I don’t have to wonder what you look like.
His “know what you will look” comment implied that the city would be pulling back on mask-wearing as well, as the reporters were wearing face coverings.
The comments come two weeks after Governor Hochul lifted the winter “mask or vaccine” policy, which was instated after the rise of the Omicron variant. The mandate affected other part of NY more than the city, since we already required proof of vaccine for most indoor activities, but was another sign of lifting restrictions as COVID-19 levels decreased. Currently, the positivity rate is 1.7% for NYC and 1.9% for New York State.