New York State Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions

After the state cleared the threshold of 70 percent of adult residents having received at least one vaccine dose, the governor lifted remaining pandemic-related restrictions.

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All of New York state’s COVID-19 related restrictions were lifted on Tuesday, as the state hit a 70 percent vaccination rate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

Cuomo loosened the restrictions after 70 percent of adult New York state residents received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. While the state vaccination data indicates only 67.4 percent of adult residents have received their first dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says New York has reached the 70 percent threshold.

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“This is a momentous day, and we deserve it because it’s been a long, long road,” Cuomo said during a press conference. “What New York has done is extraordinary. We went from worst to first.”

The state mandates have been lifted across commercial and social settings, including capacity restrictions, health screening and disinfecting protocols, which are now voluntary for businesses, Cuomo said. Industries from real estate, movie theaters, retail and construction, to name a few, can return to normal operations if they choose.

Mask requirements will remain in accordance with CDC guidelines, according to NEWS10 ABC.   

Federal mandates from the CDC are still in place for pre-kindergarten schools and public transportation — including a mask mandate — and guidelines are still in place for health care settings, Cuomo said. 

Cuomo previously eased indoor capacity restrictions for most businesses in May, including ending bar and restaurant curfews, but some guidelines, like contact tracing, remained.

The state went from the highest COVID positivity rate in the country, at 48.16 percent, to the lowest positivity rate in the country, at 0.40 percent, Cuomo pointed out. He continued to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated.

Cities statewide will hold firework shows on Tuesday night to celebrate the reopening, said Cuomo.