Hochul lifts mask mandate on mass transit

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Wednesday announced the state’s health department will lift its mask mandate for public transit, shelters and correctional facilities.


Hochul declared the move “a new normal” in the state’s fight against COVID-19, adding that officials will still encourage mask-wearing on transit and the mandate remains in effect for health care facilities.


“Getting vaccinated, boosted is our best shot, but also we have to restore some normalcy to our lives,” Hochul said at a press conference. “And so, we’ll be talking about a new normal starting today.”

  • Mask requirements will remain in health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.
  • The mask mandate for public transit in the state has been in effect since April 2020. State and local officials have gradually scaled back New York’s initial requirement to wear face coverings in public when social distancing wasn’t possible as the pandemic progressed.

Hochul on Wednesday said she expected many to still wear masks on public transit and urged the public to follow newly posted signage in subway stations that reads, “let’s respect others’ choices.”


Following Hochul’s announcement, the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission also loosened mask rules in yellow cabs and rideshare vehicles.