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Nearly 77 percent of all New York City residents are fully vaccinated. 

New York City to End Vaccine Mandate

The guidelines will still apply to restaurant employees, however. 

New York City will end vaccine requirements on March 7 for restaurants and other indoor public places, according to Mayor Eric Adams. 

The decision was made as key COVID metrics continue to decrease. New York City experienced a daily average of 540 cases in the past week, a stark decrease from 2,000 at the start of February. Nearly 77 percent of all residents are fully vaccinated. 

Additionally, New York City will remove indoor mask mandates for public schools, pending no unforeseen spikes, the mayor said. 

“I want to thank the millions of New Yorkers who have gotten vaccinated to help stop the spread," Adams said in a statement. "New Yorkers stepped up and helped us save lives by reaching unprecedented levels of vaccination."

However, Adams noted, "All other vaccine mandates in New York City will remain in place," meaning restaurant employees and other workers in the private sector still must be vaccinated to enter the workplace. 

The move comes a few weeks after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul ended the statewide mask guideline that began in December. Also, the CDC recently announced the relaxing of indoor mask guidelines in areas of low or medium risk, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population. On February 25, the U.S. seven-day moving average for COVID cases was 68,815, which is similar to levels seen in late October. 

New York City's vaccine mandate was first announced in August, back when the Delta variant accounted for 72 percent of cases and not too long after the CDC recommended fully vaccinated individuals use masks inside public spaces.