New York Governor Kathy Hochul will let the state-wide mask mandate expire on Thursday.
New York State initiated a state-wide mask mandate in December for indoor business that did not require proof of vaccination for entrance.
The mandate was due for renewal on Thursday, but Hochul has decided to let the mandate expire, citing a statewide decline in Omicron cases.
The mandate will still be in effect at healthcare centers, schools, homeless shelters, state-run nursing homes, correctional facilities, and daycares.
“We saw it coming, it happened, we hit our peak on January 7, but now we’ve noticed a 93% drop in cases,” the governor said. “That is exactly what we’ve been waiting for.”
Hochul said that requirements for indoor masking will now be at the discretion of individual cities, towns, and businesses throughout New York.
“This is your prerogative.”
New York City will keep its “Key to the City” vaccine passport mandate that requires individuals to show proof of vaccination in order to dine in restaurants, go to movie theaters, performances, and other indoor entertainment settings.
“We are continuing to follow the science and the guidance of public health professionals to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Adams “We encourage all New Yorkers to continue to wear high-quality masks when indoors or in crowded spaces and to get vaccinated and boosted to stop the spread.”