New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer have to wear masks outdoors, and state-run vaccination sites will no longer require advance appointments, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo says the state is entering a new phase in the pandemic, as more than 30% of New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated. He said New York will adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that say fully vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks outdoors, except in certain crowded settings or venues. They will still have to wear them in public indoor spaces.
The governor said all state-run vaccination sites will no longer require appointments and be open for walk-ins for all New Yorkers 16 years of age and older.
“We’re going to open up all state mass vaccination sites this Thursday, to just walk-in vaccinations,” Cuomo announced while at a state-run vaccination clinic in Johnson City. “You don’t have to call, you don’t have to make an appointment.”
New Yorkers will still need to make a follow-up appointment if their vaccine requires a second dose. County health departments will also have the option of accepting walk-in patients.
Demand for the vaccines has slowed in recent weeks. Cuomo said he hopes easing some of the obstacles, like pre-registering online, will help the state reach the herd immunity necessary to end all of the other restrictions still in place.