New York City rolls back its COVID restrictions

New York City rolls back its COVID restrictions

New York City has become the latest and largest city in the U.S. to announce it's dropping most of its COVID-19 restrictions as the Omicron surge continues to wind down. Starting Monday, businesses will no longer be required to ask for vaccination cards, and masks will no longer be mandated in public schools for children ages 5 and older.

"We have to get our economy back on track," Mayor Eric Adams said on Friday.

The city, which was once considered the epicenter of the pandemic, now has a positivity rate of only 1.6% over a 7-day average.

In neighboring New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is lifting the statewide public health emergency — which includes a mask mandate for schools and day care centers.

Meanwhile, across the country, cases in Los Angeles are so low that officials lifted the city's indoor mask requirement Friday.

Back in the Big Apple, though restrictions have been removed, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi still urged caution. "While this COVID-19 wave is ebbing, we can't say that the pandemic is ending," he said.

On Manhattan's westside, the owner of Mamasita Bar and Grill said he'll continue to require proof of vaccination.

"Protection comes first, no matter what," Prakash Hundalani told CBS News.

As for masks, New York City businesses, including restaurants, are allowed to set their own policies.

Nationwide, the federal government still requires masks be worn on planes, trains and other public transportation.

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