‘It’s time to reopen our city’: N.Y.C. mayor lifts a school mask mandate and indoor vaccination rules.

[nytimes.com – 2022.03.04] Mayor Eric Adams said on Friday that he was officially ending New York City’s mask mandate for public schools and a proof-of-vaccination requirement for indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues, a significant moment for a city that was once an epicenter of the pandemic.

Mr. Adams made the announcement in Times Square in Manhattan and said it was part of his efforts to reopen New York after a steep drop in coronavirus cases.

Starting on Monday, students will no longer have to wear masks indoors at public schools.  Children under 5 must continue to wear masks because they are not yet eligible for vaccination.

Also as of Monday, people will not be required to show proof of vaccination to visit the city’s restaurants, gyms and other venues like movie theaters. Masks are still required on public transit and in some venues, including Broadway theaters.

“It’s time to reopen our city,” Mr. Adams said on Friday.

Coronavirus cases have dropped quickly over the last month after a surge caused by the Omicron variant. The city is logging about 500 daily cases now and 25 hospitalizations compared with more than 40,000 cases and 1,000 hospitalizations per day in January.

Nearly 87 percent of adult New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, according to city data. Rates are lower among children; only about 56 percent of those ages 5 to 17 are fully vaccinated.

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