To mask or not to mask, that is the question.
The federal mask mandate that required masks on public transportation and flights was revoked, when a federal judge in Florida struck it down, saying that the CDC had exceeded its authority and failed to follow proper rulemaking procedures, according to NPR.
The CDC recommended people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings regardless. "We will continue to assess the need for a mask requirement in those settings, based on several factors, including the U.S. COVID-19 community levels, risk of circulating and novel variants, and trends in cases and disease severity," it said in a statement.
Back in February, New York State's indoor mask mandate ended and the CDC announced masks no longer need to be worn indoors for communities where hospitals aren't under high strain.
Unfortunately, this week, NYC's alert level was raised to "high," spurring on health officials to recommend wearing masks indoors again. It's not mandated but recommended.
The recent changes make it confusing for sure. Most of the metro area's public transit is run by the MTA, not by the federal government, so it adheres to its own rules. That means we are beholden to what the MTA requires right now.
Showing proof of vaccination is no longer required and masks may not be necessary for all situations, but there are still many places we must wear a mask until COVID becomes less of a threat.
Here are seven places you still need to wear a mask in NYC.
1. Wear a mask on any public transit in NYC
The MTA has not lifted its mask mandate, according to Governor Kathy Hochul, meaning that you still must wear a mask on the subway, LIRR, and Metro-North trains.
Masks are also required on the PATH train, the NYC Ferry, the World Trade Center Oculus Transportation Hub and bus stations—Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
2. Wear a mask inside NYC airports
You'll have to wear a mask while at LaGuardia Airport, JFK International Airport and New York Stewart International Airport, according to the Port Authority. Airlines no longer require masks onboard flights, although it is still recommended by many of them.
3. Wear a mask in any taxi, Uber or Lyft
While Uber and Lyft both said they've stopped requiring masks, they are bound by Taxi & Limousine Commission rules, like taxis, which still requires them in NYC. So when you get into any kind of taxi service, you still need to wear a mask.
4. Wear a mask to Broadway
The Broadway League, which represents owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters, will continue to require people to wear masks inside the theaters except when eating or drinking in designated areas through June 30.
Many theatres are no longer requiring that audience members provide proof of vaccination, however. Make sure to check the show website or point of purchase for whether you'll need to bring it or not.
5. Wear a mask inside businesses that require it
Even though it's no longer required by the government to wear a mask indoors, it is up to individual businesses whether they want staff and customers to wear masks. Be sure to check shop windows and doors for guidance before entering and always err on the side of safety and mask up if you're not sure.
6. Wear a mask in healthcare facilities and shelters
This means hospitals, medical offices, nursing homes, adult care facilities, homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters.
7. Wear a mask to correctional facilities
If you're visiting a correctional facility or detention centers, you'll have to wear a mask.
As always, use your best judgment and wear a mask if you're not sure.
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