“We want everyone to stay – first of all, June’s when we want to hit five million New Yorkers fully vaccinated, and June is the earliest we would even consider changing guidance around masks. It may be that we continue that guidance for quite a while, depending on what’s going on. We’re very concerned about the variants, for example, that’s a big x-factor,” de Blasio said at the press conference.

The mayor also stressed that New Yorkers should continue following current safety regulations, such as social distancing, wearing double masks and getting monthly tests.

The city authorities will update the guidelines according to the situation in June, de Blasio added.

New York became an epicenter of the pandemic during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring. At its peak, over 700 people died daily, over 3,000 were hospitalized. As of now, the city is conducting a mass vaccination campaign with 1,547,983 shots given in New York City.