New Yorkers will no longer have to wear masks indoors starting tomorrow

Governor Kathy Hochul has just lifted the mask mandate.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
Mask at museum
Photograph: Shutterstock

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she will lift New York's indoor mask mandate starting tomorrow. 

What that means on a practical level has yet to be seen as counties and cities, including New York City, are still allowed to maintain their own guidelines. 

Even more specifically, the politician announced that the current mask requirements will remain in place in K-12 schools because of low vaccine rates among children. She hinted at a "strong possibility" that the school mandate could be dropped by March 7, if data looked good on March 4. 

The mask mandate was first implemented in December of 2021, applying to all public indoor areas that did not require proof of vaccination upon entry. The politician called out the declining number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the reasoning behind her decision to let the mandate officially expire. Hochul's announcement follows similar ones by governors in California, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon.

According to Eater, "restaurants and bars in the five boroughs are not affected by the change due to the city's ongoing vaccine mandate, which former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August 2021."

The anxiously awaited policy modification also doesn't seem to apply to Broadway theaters: Broadway World reports that the "Broadway League mask guidance will indeed stay in place through April 30, 2022."

Alas, as liberating as Hochul's announcement sounds at first impact, it doesn't seem to actually change much when it comes to our day-to-day. That being said, the new guidelines certainly point to an exciting new direction, hopefully signaling a slow-but-sure return to the ways of the past—albeit in a safe and thought-out manner.

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