N.Y. lifts ‘mask or vax’ mandate for indoor businesses

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the state would drop a requirement for businesses to see a proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or require the wearing of a mask indoors.

Video Transcript

KATHY HOCHUL: We had a mask or vax requirement for businesses. It was an emergency temporary measure put in place literally two months ago. And at this time, we say that it's the right decision to lift this mandate for indoor businesses and let counties, cities, and businesses to make their own decisions on what they want to do with respect to mask or the vaccination requirement.

Given the declining cases, given declining hospitalizations, that is why we feel comfortable to lift this, in effect, tomorrow. And I want to thank all the businesses, and the county leaders, and the health departments in places as far away as Erie County who did the right thing to help us get through this. I believe this has made a huge difference, and it gives also patrons of businesses the comfort to know that they are safe when they went into these stores during our most vulnerable time when we saw those numbers literally off the charts.

And now, those numbers are coming down. And it is time to adapt. However, we want to make sure that every business knows this is your prerogative. And individuals who want to continue wearing masks, continue wearing masks. And I suspect when I walk the streets of New York City, as I often do, I'm still going to see a lot of people wearing masks, because they will feel safer. That is something that they are very, very welcome and encouraged to do. But in terms of having a requirement, it is being lifted as of tomorrow.