Here are the COVID restrictions ending today
Today is the day we have waited more than a year for, as most coronavirus restrictions are lifted across the Tri-State area.
In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, almost every business will return to 100 percent capacity.
But there are some discrepancies between the states when it comes to mask mandates.
In New York and Connecticut, all fully vaccinated people can drop the mask and stop social distancing.
But it’s a different story in New Jersey.
Capacity limits are lifted as of today in the Empire State. And mask requirement are also lifted for those who are vaccinated.
The question is, how many businesses will no longer require masks?
The fitness chain Equinox is no longer requiring their members in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Chicago to wear masks if they are vaccinated.
They are also not requiring any proof of vaccination.
However, customers must still book their gym sessions ahead of time to come in.
Trader Joe’s is another business where they’re lifting restrictions, no longer requiring vaccinated customers to mask up.
And in restaurants across New York, the capacity limits we’ve seen for months are gone.
If customers are vaccinated, restaurant and bar owners can pack them in.
“When the guests come through the door, it’s going to the first question that we ask: ‘Are you guys vaccinated? Can you prove it? Can you just show a quick bit of proof?'” said one owner. “And then, essentially, ‘If you guys are happy enough to take your mask off, you’re more than welcome to do so.'”
“It is going to be a little stressful, I think, because you’re so used to being careful and making sure you stay apart from everybody,” said a customer.
We have learned that the CDC’s mask mandates caught Governor Cuomo off guard, which he expressed in a private call.
Still, the governor aligned New York with the new guidance.
New Yorkers themselves have differing opinions about whether they’ll actually ditch the face coverings.
“As much as I love sporting events and concerts, I’m probably staying out of arenas for a little longer until we know how safe it is,” said one resident.
“Not knowing who’s been vaccinated or not, that makes me a little nervous,” said another. “So I will, even though i have been vaccinated, continue to wear my mask.”
Even New York City’s health commissioner says he will continue to wear a mask indoors until the majority of people are vaccinated.
And you’re going to still need to keep your mask on in some places in New York, including mass transit.
The MTA says their last survey showed 99 percent mask usage on the subways.
Two months ago today Connecticut returned to 100% capacity inside restaurants, though tables still had to be kept 6 feet apart – but not anymore.
The state is ending all COVID restrictions on businesses starting today.
Restaurants are back to full capacity and curfews are lifted.
And today is also the day masks can come off both outdoors and indoors as well.
Connecticut’s coronavirus positivity rate has been consistently low, and it has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, with 49% of residents fully vaccinated and 59% having received at least one dose.