NYC lifting school mask mandate, indoor vaccine requirement

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PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
A child attends an online class at a learning hub inside the Crenshaw Family YMCA during the Covid-19 pandemic on February 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

New York City will end its school mask mandate and vaccination requirement for businesses like restaurants starting Monday, Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced.  

The move in the country’s largest city is a sign of the push to return to normal life and part of a parade of recent announcements by governors and local officials lifting rules on masking and other areas.  

“Two years ago, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, but thanks to New Yorkers getting vaccinated and getting boosted we have made tremendous progress,” Adams said in a statement.  

He urged people to go out and take advantage of the city’s offerings.  

“New Yorkers should be getting out and enjoying our amazing city,” he said. “The fight may not be over, but we’re clearly winning the war. We are open for business and New York City has its groove back.” 

Under the new rules, businesses like restaurants and gyms will still be able to require vaccination if they choose to.  

Masks will still be required for children under 5, for whom no vaccine is yet available, the mayor said.  

The moves come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending masks, including in schools, in most of the country under new guidelines.  

President Biden also echoed a message of getting back to closer to normal in his State of the Union on Tuesday.  

“It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” Biden said then. “People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office.”   

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