New York City health authorities recommended the use of a mask in public and closed spaces, but clarified that no new covid-19 restrictions will be imposed.

NEW YORK – New York City health authorities issued a new recommendation Monday, urging residents to wear a face mask indoors and in public, regardless of their vaccination status.

The recommendation arises from the threat of the new variant of covid-19, omicron.

“It is strongly recommended that all New Yorkers wear a mask at all times, when indoors and in a public setting, such as at the grocery store, in building lobbies, in offices, and in retail stores.” said Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi.

In addition, the doctor stressed that face masks are still necessary for everyone in public transport, hospitals, schools and meeting places.

Dr. Chokshi said the variant could arrive in New York in the next few days.

Mayor Bill de Blasio added that health authorities are monitoring “very, very carefully” the omicron variant, adding that it will be critical to vaccination efforts.

It also expanded the city’s vaccination mandate to cover 102,000 employees who work in daycare and early intervention programs. The deadline for vaccination is December 20, the mayor said.

Since last week, the use of a mask is no longer required at the federal level, regardless of vaccination status.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the United States banned most travel from eight countries, including South Africa.

Permanent residents and US citizens are not affected.

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