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Confused About COVID-19 Mask Guidance? Here's The Current State Of Play In New York City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With many restrictions loosening up, there has been some confusion over mask guidelines.

Here's a snapshot of the current rules in New York City:

You still have to wear a face covering out in public when you cannot keep a six-foot distance from others. You also have to wear one when you are using public transportation or for-hire vehicles, or if you are an employee who has contact with customers or members of the public.

READ MOREOver A Third Of States Are Ending COVID-19 Mask Mandates

It has become confusing because updated Centers for Disease Control guidelines are the following:

When you're fully vaccinated you can resume activities without wearing a mask or social distance inside and outside, except where it's required by federal, state, tribal or territorial regulations.

READ MORENew CDC Guidance Leaves Some Ready To Toss Their Masks, Others More Hesitant

The mask and social distancing rules at 104 Broadway Farm Grocery on the Upper West Side are still very clear and enforced.

Owner Yo Kim told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez she's in no hurry to change the rules despite the CDC's new guidelines.

"It makes me feel ... a little bit nervous," Kim said. "Truly, the way I feel, people should wear masks for a while. Maybe a couple more months."


Gov. Ned Lamont said Connecticut will follow the CDC's recommendations and end its indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated people starting on Wednesday.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said the Garden State isn't there yet, but he will allow fully vaccinated people to drop their masks outdoors.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn't budging in New York until state health officials review the new federal guidelines. However, Six counties are urging him to adopt the CDC's guidance and allow fully vaccinated residents return to normalcy.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said her agency is not saying everyone who is vaccinated should go maskless.

"Every community is not the same. Not all communities have vaccination rates that are high and some communities have case rates that are high. So, these decisions have to be made at the community level," Walensky said.

Michael Quinn, owner of Delphinium Home in Hell's Kitchen, said he's keeping his mask rules in place for now.

"We have had a few customers come in and say, 'Is it okay if I take my mask off? I'm vaccinated,' and we're all vaccinated here as well, and we have allowed them to take off their masks, and we took off our masks," Quinn said.


And while most New Yorkers that spoke to CBS2 said they excited to get back to normal, they're willing to wait to lift their masks.

"Now there are people out there who aren't vaccinated who are going to just tell people they are and keep their masks off inside and that's where the danger comes in," one person said.

"Until I get more information, until I get more directions, I'm gonna keep the mask on," another said.

The CDC director said children who aren't fully vaccinated or are too young to be vaccinated should wear masks indoors and outdoors and follow social distancing guidelines.

She anticipates more school-aged children will be eligible for the vaccine by the fall.

Some corporations have revised their policies to allow people to go maskless inside their stores, but federal officials say local or state regulations still take precedence.

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