After living in a pandemic for nearly 500 days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced life across New York State can finally return to normal.

On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed 70 percent of New York adults have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

“We hit 70 percent, we will be back to life as normal,” Cuomo said prior to confirming New York reached the 70 percent milestone.

Tuesday marked day 472 of the COVID-19 pandemic. After confirming 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 and older have recently at least one COVID vaccine, Cuomo did as promised and lifted most of the remaining COVID restrictions.

"COVID-19 has been the most trying and difficult time in our lives, but New York State is finally moving forward into the future. Vaccination rates are up and COVID numbers are down, and we're reducing restrictions across the board," Cuomo said. "The pandemic is on the decline, but vaccination is the key to our success and I encourage any New Yorkers who haven't taken the shot yet to do so right away."

New York's COVID industry-specific guidelines -- including capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing -- are now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barbershops and personal care services, among other commercial settings, officials say.

Effective immediately, all state-mandated COVID restrictions are lifted across commercial and social settings, including:

  • Sports and recreation
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Trade
  • Child care
  • Camps
  • Food services
  • Offices
  • Real estate
  • Buildings
  • Agriculture
  • Fishing
  • Forestry
  • Amusement and family entertainment
  • Personal care services
  • Gyms
  • Retail
  • Malls
  • Movie theaters

In those settings the following COVID restrictions are eliminated:

  • Social gathering limits
  • Capacity restrictions
  • Social distancing
  • Health screening
  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols
  • Contact information for tracing

Large-scale event venues, pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and healthcare settings must continue to follow the State's guidelines until more New Yorkers are vaccinated.

Unvaccinated individuals will still be responsible for maintaining proper social distancing of six feet and wearing a mask as per federal CDC guidance. Consistent with the State's implementation of the recent CDC guidance, masks will still be required for unvaccinated individuals.

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