Once 70% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, most remaining restrictions will be lifted, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Currently, 68.6% of adults in New York have received the coronavirus vaccine.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is to remove the remaining COVID restrictions, right? Get to a point where COVID is not inhibiting our society, inhibiting our growth,” said Cuomo.
The governor said capacity restrictions, social distancing rules, cleaning protocols, health screenings and contact tracing requirements will become optional for most places, including retail stores, restaurants, offices and gyms.
Unvaccinated people will continue to have to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
“When we hit 70% then I feel comfortable saying to people of this state we can relax virtually all restrictions,” said Cuomo.
Some restrictions will still be in place at large venues, schools, public transportation, hospitals and nursing homes, and masks will still be required in certain situations, including mass transit, depending on CDC guidance.
Cuomo said the vaccination rate has slowed dramatically in recent weeks.
The lowest demographic of New Yorkers vaccinated against COVID-19 are children ages 12-17.
The governor added that the state will focus on vaccinating residents living in ZIP codes with the lowest vaccination rates.
The announcement comes weeks after the state eased a number of restrictions on social gatherings and restaurants.