NYC mayor issues ‘mask advisory’ as scientists warn of Omicron variant

NYC mayor issues ‘mask advisory’ as scientists warn of Omicron variant
‘Every New Yorker, regardless of vaccination status, is encouraged to wear a mask in indoor public settings,’ the mayor’s office announced

New York mayor Bill de Blasio has issued a “mask advisory” for everyone in the city, urging New Yorkers to cover their faces as scientists warn of the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus.

“@NYCMayor and @NYCHealthCommr announce a mask advisory is in effect,” the mayor’s office said on Twitter. “Every New Yorker, regardless of vaccination status, is encouraged to wear a mask in indoor public settings.”

At a press conference discussing the advisory, Mr de Blasio emphasized that the Omicron variant, which has been spreading in other parts of the world, has not yet arrived in New York City – although it is expected.

“There are no Omicron cases here in New York City at this moment. It is very likely there will be, but there are no cases at this moment,” the mayor said. “But nonetheless we are preparing to take action.”

Mr de Blasio said the new advisory does not change the previous guidance on masks, but “strengthens” it.

“What we are saying clear as a bell today is, what has worked up to now continues to be the key: vaccination, and obviously masks play a very important role as well,” the mayor said.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow

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