MONDAY, March 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — As the COVID-19 surge driven by the omicron variant wanes, New York City announced that it will lift most of its pandemic restrictions.

As of Monday, businesses will no longer have to ask for vaccination cards and masks will no longer be required in public schools for children ages 5 years and older, a city executive order said. Restaurants and other businesses will be able to set their own mask policies.

New York City was once the pandemic epicenter in the United States, but its positivity rate is now only 1.6 percent over a seven-day average, CBS News reported. It is the latest and largest U.S. city to drop most COVID-19 restrictions, but city officials still urge caution. “While this COVID-19 wave is ebbing, we can’t say that the pandemic is ending,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi, M.D., CBS News reported.

Other states and cities have already lifted COVID-19 restrictions: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the lifting of the statewide public health emergency, which includes a mask mandate for schools and day care centers, while Los Angeles officials lifted the city’s indoor mask requirement Friday, CBS News reported.

Even though many cities are dropping mask mandates, the federal government still requires masks be worn on planes, trains, and other public transportation. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased COVID-19 restrictions for most Americans.

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