New York, NY: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced on Tuesday that “we can now return to life as we know it” because the state had hit his vaccination-rate threshold.
Earlier this month, Cuomo said he would lift “virtually all” Covid-19 restrictions once 70% of New Yorkers had received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Cuomo said on Tuesday that restrictions would be “relaxed as of today, effective immediately.”
“Remember June 15th. Remember today, because it is the day that New York rose again,” Cuomo said at Manhattan’s One World Trade Center, adding that June 15 was also his late father and former Gov. Mario Cuomo’s birthday.
Masks will still be required on public transit, but otherwise New York’s landscape of state mandates will be drastically diminished.
Counties and localities can still implement their own restrictions, and Cuomo said New York would still observe guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Businesses can also keep their own mask policies.
Cuomo did not clarify policies on masks and social-distancing measures in schools.
New York’s vaccination drive has been most successful in regions around New York City and to the north – Long Island and the area around the capital, Albany, have the highest rates of single doses administered.