Masks are still recommended on public transportation in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul says—but after 28 months, they are no longer mandatory. Hochul announced an end to the mass transit mask mandate Wednesday, though many people stopped heeding it months ago and officials had largely stopped enforcing it, NBC New York reports. "We’ll be talking about a new normal starting today," Hochul said. The mandate has also been lifted for airports, for-hire vehicles, airports, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities, among other locations, but masks are still required in health care facilities including nursing homes and hospitals.
"If you choose not to have a mask, it's your own risk assessment," Hochul said. "You make your own determination but do not judge your fellow passengers on what their choices are." The Democratic governor cited new booster shots that target the most common strain of the omicron variant, the AP reports. "I want to thank everyone who’s been complying for 28 months," said Hochul, who got her booster shot Wednesday. “It was there for the right reason—it protected health—but now we’re in a far better place than we had been.” (Read more mask mandates stories.)