Governor Cuomo announces that some can stop using face masks, but only in certain situations

Press release from governor.ny.gov.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance on mask use for fully vaccinated people. The guidelines state that fully vaccinated people, defined as two or more weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, no longer need to wear masks outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues. However, masks should still be worn indoors and should still be worn by people who are not fully vaccinated. This guidance reemphasizes the importance of getting vaccinated and closely adhering to public health guidance, particularly if you are not yet vaccinated. Fully vaccinated individuals with immunocompromising conditions should consult with their healthcare provider first.

“The CDC announced new guidance today saying that when Americans who are fully vaccinated are outside, biking, hiking, running, or in small gatherings, you don’t need to wear a mask. That is liberating, especially now that the weather is getting warmer,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York has adopted that guidance, so that’s going to go into effect in the State also and we want to thank CDC for that. This news underscores the fact that if you get vaccinated, more freedom is available to you, and I encourage all eligible New Yorkers who have not yet received the vaccine to make an appointment today.”

According to the new CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people can engage in more activities than unvaccinated people, which include:

  • Fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic
  • Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure
  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible (in nonhealthcare settings)

This modification will be noticed to the legislature but will take effect immediately using the exigency provisions of Ch. 71 of the laws of 2021, enacted earlier this year.