NYC to recommend, not mandate masks for vaccinated people indoors
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that he is not imposing a mandate for people to wear masks, but he did „strongly recommend“ that people do so in public indoor spaces, whether they are vaccinated against coronavirus or not.
The recommendation follows CDC guidance that said the same thing, as the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, mostly to those who have not received a vaccine. The mayor said his administration reviewed information from the CDC.
„We want to strongly recommend that people wear a mask in indoor settings, even if you’re vaccinated,“ de Blasio said during a press briefing. „Now, this is particularly true if you might be around anyone unvaccinated.“
The mayor reminded people that the city already requires masks in indoor and outdoor spaces for people who have not been vaccinated, and everyone must wear them when taking any mass transit, as well as in hospital, schools, and „congregate settings.“
„Let’s be clear, vaccines are the number one most powerful weapon against COVID by far. But we also clearly believe there’s a place for masks,“ de Blasio said.
De Blasio did say he was mandating vaccinations for all newly-hired city employees before they begin work.
FILE — In this April 18, 2020 file photo, a subway conductor wears a face mask as the train is in a station, in the Bronx borough of New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have scheduled competing news conferences Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, amid rising COVID-19 case counts attributed to the highly contagious delta variant of the virus. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
The mayor’s announcement came minutes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he was calling on local governments to push mask wearing in light of the CDC’s recommendation, noting that the state cannot require it without first passing a law.
Another recommendation he made was for private businesses to only allow people inside their establishments if they have been vaccinated.
One mandate that Cuomo did announce was for all MTA and New York Port Authority employees to either be vaccinated or have weekly tests done. He also floated the possibility of doing the same for public-facing officials in positions with a high risk of exposure.