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Children wearing face masks.FamVeld /

ALBANY, New York (LifeSiteNews)— New Yorkers will no longer be required to wear masks when shopping inside or going out to eat at a restaurant – but six-year-olds will still need to mask while at school.  

The state put in place two months ago a requirement for people either to show proof of vaccination or to wear a face covering into New York businesses. 

So, we had a mask or vax requirement for businesses. It was an emergency temporary measure put in place literally two months ago,” Governor Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.  

“And at this time we say that it is the right decision to lift this mandate for indoor businesses and let counties, cities, and businesses to make their own decisions on what they want to do with respect to mask or the vaccination requirement.” 

The governor praised the “leadership” of businesses that policed citizens’ vaccine passports for her. 

“I’ve walked [into] a lot of restaurants, showing here, in New York City, my vaccination card. And I just want to thank all of them for everything they did,” Hochul said. 

“They are part of the New York story and our response to this pandemic. They are an example of what leadership, even in their own lives and in their own communities looks like.” 

The face covering requirement will continue to apply in other places, though. 

“We are still going to continue for now the requirement at state regulated healthcare facilities. I think that’s very obvious of why we wanted to make sure our health care facilities are safe,” Hochul said.

“That’d be adult care facilities, nursing homes, correctional facilities, schools and childcare centers.” 

“Homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, as well as bus and train stations,” must still mandate masks.  

“The federal government regulates the airports, the airplanes and trains like Amtrak. So that is still under their jurisdiction,” Hochul said.  

The governor’s plan is to have all kids tested for COVID after the public schools’ break. 

Most of the public school students in the state will be back the week of February 28,” she said.  

Hochul clarified that many of the students would not return to classrooms for in-person teaching for at least a week, [or a] 10-day period.”  

At that time, she will decide if children will still be required to wear masks. 

“There will not be one number that says yes or no,” she warned, referring to future case number.  

“It is going to be an assessment of all these factors that have guided us throughout, guided us to the decision we made today, and that’ll give me the comfort as well as the conversations” she had with school officials, Hochul said. 

Despite the minimal risk posed to children from COVID-19, Hochul remained open to going back and forth on regulations, again without defining a specific number of cases. 

“It’s not going to be ready yet because we’re going to fine tune it every single day, but there should be very clear guidance so schools will know what to do in a circumstance, you know, if the masks come off, someone tests positive in the classroom, what are some of the triggers?” Hochul said at the Wednesday press conference. 

“And so that is what we are going to take this time now … to make sure we get it right.” 

Children are not at a significant risk for a severe reaction from COVID. Kids from 0 to 17 represent .01 percent of all U.S. deaths from the virus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. 

Face masks can also cause problems, according to a review of 79 research papers. 

LifeSiteNews identified 47 studies that concluded masks are ineffective and another 32 that said they can cause negative health effects.