On February 27, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that if COVID-19 indicators continue to display low risk levels, the “Key to NYC” will be lifted, effective March 7, 2022. Individuals will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination to enter certain covered establishments, such as indoor dining, entertainment, and fitness establishments. Former New York City mayor Bill De Blasio implemented the Key to NYC through Emergency Executive Order 225 on August 17, 2021.

New York City’s private-employer vaccination mandate will remain in effect.

Mayor Adams also announced plans to end the city’s mask mandate for public schools, effective March 7, 2022. Similarly, on March 2, 2022, the New York state mask requirement for schools will be lifted, including for children two years of age and older in childcare facilities, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said during a briefing on the pandemic on February 27, 2022. She also said that counties and cities are free to continue to require masks in schools.

New York state’s mask requirement remains in effect for (1) state-regulated health care settings, nursing homes, and adult care facilities; (2) correctional facilities and detention centers; (3) homeless shelters; (4) domestic violence shelters; and (5) public transit and transportation hubs.

Employers in New York state and New York City may wish to review the above requirements to ensure that their practices comply with the ever-changing obligations and requirements under the various orders and mandates.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to New York COVID-19 mandates and will post updates on the New York blog and in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.