New York City will lift indoor vaccine mandates by March 7

New York City will lift indoor vaccine mandates by March 7
Indoor mask mandate for public schools could also be dropped on same date if data allows

New York City will lift its indoor vaccine mandates for restaurants, bars and theatres by 7 March, Mayor Eric Adams has announced.

He also said that the city’s indoor mask mandate for its public schools will be dropped on the same date if Covid levels stay low enough, and that a final decision would be made on 4 March.

“We’ve fought a long, hard battle. And we’re winning it because of the grit and determination of every day New Yorkers like you,” tweeted Mr Adams on Sunday afternoon.

The move came after New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state would end its mask mandates in schools from Wednesday.

Gov Hochul said “the day has come” to remove the compulsory use of masks in schools after Covid cases had declined by 98 per cent from the Omicron peak.

And Mayor Adams said in his announcement that his city was dramatically loosening its mandates.

“More than a million New York City school children will return to class tomorrow. If our numbers continue to show a low level of risk, we will remove the indoor mask mandate for public school students, effective Monday, March 7. We will make a final decision on Friday, March ,” Mr Adams tweeted.

“New York City’s Covid numbers continue to go down. So long as our indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week, on Monday, March 7 we will also remove the vaccination requirements for Key2NYC — meaning indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues.”

Mr Adams said that the city was giving business owners one week to adapt to the new rules.

“I want to thank the millions of New Yorkers who masked up and helped us reach unprecedented levels of vaccinations,” he added.

Mask-mandates in schools became one of the most polarizing issues of the pandemic.

Several states including New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware lifted their mask mandates in school earlier this month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on Friday to say masks and social distancing were only necessary in areas of high Covid transmission.

More than 78.8m people have tested positive for Covid in the US during the two-year pandemic, and 946,000 people have died from the virus in that time.