NEW YORK — As of Wednesday, New York’s mask mandate, which has been in place for over a year, will be lifted — a major step in the state’s reopening progress.
Former NYPD Chief Terence Monahan is the Senior Advisor for Recovery Safety Planning, and he spoke with PIX11 News to discuss the plan he’s been putting in place for months.
New York City is a tourist mecca, but recent gun violence and subway crimes have not painted an inviting picture for visitors.
Monahan said they are working to make sure people feel safe. “We want to have people fill the streets again.”
He also said he is working with different departments to make sure they’re doing their part to ensure reopening will be done smoothly.
To ensure safety, Monahan said the city needs to make sure there’s a visual presence of officers, particularly around the transit system.
Many people have pointed to mental health issues during the pandemic. Monahan said he’s been in contact with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to ensure staffers are out there to connect the homeless and those with mental health problems with more resources.
With new mask-wearing guidelines, Monahan said every business will have to work with protocols they’re comfortable with.
He also urged people to get vaccinated.
“I cannot see any reason right now not to get vaccinated,” he said.
Monahan acknowledged it’s a person’s choice and option to get vaccinated, but venues and businesses may end up closing the doors on those who are unvaccinated.