Gov. Cuomo lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated New Yorkers at most indoor settings
New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated have been given the go ahead to take off their masks at most indoor locations.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state is adopting the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance as around 52% of adults in the state have been vaccinated.
The new rule applies to small-scale events, and businesses like retail shops, restaurants, offices and gyms -- leaving it to business owners to decide their own individual mask policies.
Claire Sprouse, the owner of Hunky Dory on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights, says she's opting to keep mask regulations in place after careful consideration with her staff.
Sprouse says she wants staff and customers to feel comfortable since it's unknown who's vaccinated. Masks are required at Hunky Dory when interacting with staff and when entering the building, Sprouse says, which has been met with pushback. She expects it to worsen.
"I have had a few bad reviews where people complain about wearing masks when they interact with our employees," said Sprouse. "I expect that will increase because I know people have mask fatigue, but there is a greater context here. Sometimes we have 400 people come in on a Saturday, and our employees will interact with all 400 of those people."
She plans to revisit her rules when more people feel it's time to move on.
Capacity limits are also being eased at businesses, and they still need to adhere to the six-feet distancing rule.
People are still required to wear masks in schools, on public transit and in health care facilities.
The governor says the new mask guidance and easing of capacity limits is part of his efforts to reopen the economy as more people are vaccinated, and there are reduced hospitalizations due to COVID.