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NYC Has ‘No Plan’ to Revisit Mask Requirements Amid Delta Variant Spread, Mayor Says

Plus, the Gansevoort Meatpacking District hotel plans a series of new restaurants — and more intel

People walk across 42nd street at Time Square in Manhattan on January 14, 2020 in New York City
Times Square, photographed in January 14, 2020
Johannes Eisele/Getty Images

City officials have no current plans to reinstate mask requirements

Several international cities and countries — and as of Monday, Los Angeles — have reimposed stay-at-home orders and other precautions due to a rise in coronavirus cases from the Delta variant, but Mayor Bill de Blasio and city health officials have said that they have no current plans to revisit mask requirements in New York City.

In an appearance on WNYC’s the Brian Lehrer Show on June 25, de Blasio said his administration is “going to watch it carefully.” More recently, health officials in New York City told the New York Times that they have no current plans to revisit mask requirements. “There’s no plan at this moment to do anything different than what we’re doing now,” de Blasio said last week. “If something changes, we’ll assess it.” Until last month, customers at NYC restaurants were required to wear masks indoors except for when eating and drinking as a public health safety precaution during the pandemic.

The World Health Organization recently reiterated that individuals — including those who are vaccinated — should continue to social distance and wear masks in light of the variant’s spread in other countries. Estimates of the Delta variant’s infectiousness vary, but early data suggests it can evade partial vaccinations and could be twice as contagious as the original virus. Roughly 23 percent of new coronavirus cases in NYC stemmed from the Delta variant as of June 12, compared to 20 percent in the United States more generally.

As of June 27, the COVID-19 test positivity rate on a seven-day average in NYC was 0.57 percent, according to city data. More than 10.4 million New Yorkers — roughly 53 percent of the state population — have received both doses of the vaccine at the time of publication, according to state data.

In other news

— The Gansevoort Meatpacking District hotel is planning to open a series of new restaurants over the next year, the New York Times reports. A cafe called Coffee and Cocktails has already opened on the hotel’s first floor, and a rooftop sushi bar from the team behind Kissaki is slated to open on July 20.

Times critic Pete Wells reminds us: “There is no guarantee the next [mayoral] administration will be as enthusiastic about Open Restaurants and Open Streets as the current one has been.”

— Some newly opened restaurants are paying homage to the neighborhood spots they replaced.

— Grub Street asks the important questions this week: Does Eleven Madison Park’s vegan menu live up to the hype?

— The city may be on the road to recovery, but hotels are still waiting on tourists to hire back furloughed staffers.

— An actual photo of us outdoor dining today: