Mayor Adams called on shoppers Monday to enter New York City businesses maskless from now on — a message aimed at reducing shoplifting, but one that runs counter to COVID-era prescriptions to mask up when in enclosed, public spaces.
Adams, who was speaking on “PIX11 Morning News,” didn’t entirely rule out masks in stores, noting that shoppers could don face coverings moments after entering — as long as their face could be fully viewed before putting it on when first entering a store.
“Let’s be clear. Some of these characters going into stores that are wearing a mask, they’re not doing it because they are afraid of the pandemic,” he said. “They’re doing it because they’re afraid of the police, and we need to stop allowing them to exploit the safety of the pandemic by wearing masks, committing crimes.”
Since COVID first hit the city two years ago, city officials have advised New Yorkers to wear masks in enclosed public places with some businesses making masks mandatory among patrons. The introduction of vaccines led to a loosening of mask-wearing rules with many establishments now viewing them as optional.
But for people with compromised auto-immune systems and those suffering from long COVID, masks are still generally viewed as a necessary form of protection when in an enclosed public setting.
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