New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has lifted the state’s mask mandates on public transit statewide, saying the coverings will now be recommended but optional on the New York City subway and other transit systems.
“We’ll be talking about a new normal starting today. Basically, we’re going from mandatory to optional,” Ms. Hochul said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which governs the subway as well as the Long Island Railroad, the Metro-North Railroad and the NYC bus system had maintained their mask mandate, waiting for a change from the state Department of Health.
Beginning today, masks are encouraged but optional on @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus, @LIRR and @MetroNorth. pic.twitter.com/BMOea8nE67
— MTA (@MTA) September 7, 2022
The federal mask mandate for public transit was ended by a court order in April. New York’s mandate was one of the last remaining nationwide, having been first implemented in April 2020.
“We have to restore some normalcy to our lives,” Ms. Hochul said, according to Politico.
Masking will also be optional in “for-hire vehicles, at airports, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and detention centers,” a statement from the governor’s office said.
Masking will still be required in healthcare and adult-care facilities.