It is no longer mandatory to wear a mask if you take any form of public transportation in New York, including the PATH train between New Jersey and Manhattan.

In an announcement Wednesday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that masks will no longer be required on trains, buses, subways, or in airports and indoor terminals. The dropped mandate had been in place since April 2020.

“We’ll be talking about a new normal starting today,” Hochul said. “Basically, we’re going from mandatory to optional.”

Virus Outbreak New York

The announcement brings consistency to PATH train riders, who travel between Newark-Penn Station and 33rd Street in Manhattan. Previously, masks had been required in New York stations but not in New Jersey stations.

A new banner on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority website alerts riders to the updated policy.

"Masks are now optional for customers on our subways, buses, and commuter rail. We encourage riders to continue to wear masks throughout our public transit system. Please respect other riders' choices."

Hochul credited the recently approved COVID-19 booster shots targeting the most prevalent strain omicron variant strain.

“We do believe that we’re in a good place right now, especially if New Yorkers take advantage of these boosters,” she said.

Face coverings will still be required at New York hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care settings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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