Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted New York state’s mass transit mask mandate on Wednesday, making face coverings optional on subways, buses and other modes of public transport.
There are still a handful of indoor settings, however, that will require face coverings. Here’s where masks will and won’t be required in New York City:
MTA buses and trains
Masks will be “encouraged but optional” on subways and buses, the MTA tweeted. Face coverings will also be optional on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad trains.
"It became more and more difficult to justify and to enforce a mask requirement as so much of the city and so many other places were opening up," said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
The Staten Island Ferry
Masks will be optional on Staten Island Ferry boats and inside terminals, the city’s Department of Transportation tweeted.
“Always respect your fellow passengers’ choices!” the DOT said.
NYC Ferry boats
Masks will be optional for passengers riding NYC Ferry boats, the transit service said Thursday.
“We strongly encourage riders to continue to wear masks while inside the main cabin,” NYC Ferry tweeted. “Please respect other riders’ choices.”
New York City taxis and for-hire vehicles
The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission will no longer require cab drivers or passengers to wear masks, the agency confirmed Wednesday – though the agency added that masks are “strongly recommended.”
Uber and Lyft already eliminated their face covering requirements earlier this year, despite the fact that their vehicles fell under the umbrella of the state’s mass transit mandate.
Port Authority-run transit hubs
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is doing away with its mask requirements following the governor’s announcement, a spokesperson confirmed.
Up until Wednesday, the transit agency had been requiring face coverings at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the George Washington Bridge Bus Station, the World Trade Center Oculus Transportation Hub, LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and New York Stewart International Airport.
Masks will be optional on PATH trains, per the Port Authority’s new face-covering guidance, a spokesperson said.
'High-density' indoor settings
Effective Wednesday, masks will no longer be required in homeless shelters, correctional facilities and detention centers, Hochul said in a press release.
Masks will, however, still be required at New York state Department of Health-regulated adult care and health care facilities, the release said.
Masks will also be mandatory “in clinical settings regulated by the Office of Mental Health, Office of Addiction Services and Supports and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities,” according to the release.
Public school classrooms
New York City public school students will not be required to wear masks this fall, unless they are returning to school after testing positive for COVID-19 and isolating for five days.
New York City businesses
Businesses in New York City are still allowed to require proof of vaccination or masks indoors if they wish to do so, Mayor Eric Adams previously said in a press release.
The Broadway League lifted its mask mandate for theatergoers on July 1. The League has said it will continue to reevaluate its safety protocols on a month-to-month basis.