With confusing mask mandates, is New York ready for the next step?
NEW YORK - Wednesday will be a major step forward in New York's reopening. Capacity restrictions will be lifted for most establishments including but not limited to retail, restaurants, salons, and gyms.
The state will also do away with mask mandates and adopt CDC guidelines. People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing outdoors and in most indoor settings.
But Bocado Cafe owner John Guampilis called it a "tricky situation." He said he has no plan on how he would be able to tell who is vaccinated or not, which means customers wanting to dine at the Upper East Side cafe will still have to mask up at least for a little longer.
The owner of Bloom Nail & Spa salon said her customers and employees will continue to wear the masks and practice social distancing. However, Tina said if a customer insists on not wearing a mask, they will have to show their vaccination card.
"It's too soon to take the mask off," she said.
NY to adopt CDC guidelines for masks, social distancing starting May 19
The city's top doctor, Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi, agrees.
"Personally, while I am fully vaccinated, I'll be keeping my mask on indoors in almost all settings," Chokshi said during the mayor's press briefing on Tuesday.
He said he is concerned that the virus can spread among those who are not vaccinated if vaccinated and unvaccinated people are mixed in together indoors.
"What we are emphasizing is we are still in a stage where more and more people need to get vaccinated and in the areas where we are congregating together, particularly indoors, masking and distancing, those public health precautions got us to where we are right now," Chokshi said. "They will remain important for just a little longer."
So how will business owners know who and who isn't vaccinated? Well, it's an honor system. Mayor Bill de Blasio said each establishment may have its own rules.