NEW YORK — New York state is dropping its mask requirement on public transportation thanks in part to the availability of new booster shots targeting the most common strain of COVID-19, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.
Masks will be encouraged but not required on buses and trains including the New York City subway system, Hochul said.
Compliance with the subway mask requirement was high early in the coronavirus pandemic but has dropped steeply in recent months. Masks will still be required in health care settings including hospitals and nursing homes, Hochul said.
Federal officials approved booster shots last week that target the most prevalent strain of the COVID-19 omicron variant.
Hochul, a Democrat, got the booster herself at her news conference in New York City and urged others to follow her example.
“We do believe that we’re in a good place right now, especially if New Yorekrs take advantage of these boosters,” she said.