New York state will lift “most” of the remaining coronavirus restrictions when the state achieves a 70% vaccination rate, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. The state’s current rate is 68.8%, he said.
Once 70% of eligible adults have received at least one shot, “masks will only be required as recommended by CDC,” Cuomo said. “There still will be some institutional guidelines, large venues, schools, public transportation, hospitals, nursing homes.” Unvaccinated individuals will be expected to continue wear masks, as per CDC regulations.
Capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing will become optional for retail, food services, offices, amusement and family entertainment, and personal care services, among other commercial settings. Businesses can decide to what extent they will abide by guidelines, and if they require shoppers and staff to wear masks.
Large-scale event venues, pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, nursing homes, and healthcare settings must continue to follow the health guidelines.
“The lifting of our COVID restrictions is a sign of how hard New Yorkers have worked to contain the spread of the virus and protect their communities,” Cuomo said. “With numbers trending at record lows, it is clear that the vaccine is effective and that it is an invaluable tool against the virus. While we have come so far it is still imperative that those who have not received the vaccine do so, so that they may enjoy the state’s reimagined reopening to the fullest extent possible.”