As a form of a deterrent on the deadly COVID variant Omniron, outgoing New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called on every New Yorker to again wear masks in all indoor public places.
De Blasio made the appeal on Monday as city health officials prepared for the imminent arrival of the Omicron variant.
“It’s time to remind people and double down and say, ‘Even if you started to move away from masks before, we’re telling you to get those masks back on now,’” de Blasio said.
City Health Commissioner David Chokshi revealed the advisory covers even fully vaccinated people and those who have had the virus.
“Today I’m issuing a commissioner’s advisory strongly recommending that all New Yorkers wear a mask at all times when indoors and in a public setting like at your grocery or in building lobbies, offices, and retail stores,” Chokshi said.
“This includes those that are vaccinated and those who’ve had COVID-19,” Chokshi added.
Sources said the reimposition of the mask mandate is the same move the city did in August to tackle the Delta variant.
The business sector in the Big Apple is not too happy with the return of the mask mandate.
Kathy Wylde, the head of the Big Apple’s main business group, the Partnership for New York City said the move is giving mixed signals to the public.
“They’re sending mixed messages when they ask for people to come back, but on the other hand say that you should wear masks in the office,” Wylde said.
While the business sector is not happy with the order, the NY real estate community is embracing it.
“Moving forward on the path to full economic recovery means beating the virus – and that will only happen if all New Yorkers stay focused on maximizing vaccination rates, getting their boosters and following all public health guidance on masking and other safety precautions,” said James Whelan, the president of the Real Estate Board.