NEW YORK (PIX11) — After two grueling years of dealing with COVID-19 safety measures, New Yorkers on Monday took a major step toward pre-pandemic normalcy.
Effective Monday, public school students and staff no longer have to wear masks indoors. It was the first school day that students did not have to wear a facemask in the classroom since schools reopened for in-person learning in the fall of 2020. Children under the age of 5 still need to wear masks because they’re not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID vaccination requirements at restaurants, gyms and fitness studios, as well as entertainment and cultural venues — known as the Key to NYC program — also ended Monday. However, if you want to see a show in a Broadway theater or ride mass transit, you’re still required to wear a mask.
The rollback of pandemic restrictions and safety measures comes as New York continues to report relatively low COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations. On Sunday, health officials said the statewide positivity rate hit its lowest level since July 18, 2021. Just 1.36% of COVID-19 tests in New York were reported positive, keeping the statewide rate below 2% for the 10th consecutive day.