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Americans ARE ready to ditch face masks inside even though it feels ‘weird’


Americans have been given the all clear to strip off their masks after the CDC eased guidance for fully vaccinated people – and while some say they’re excited to finally ditch the face coverings for good, others admit the new found freedom may take time to get used given it has become the ‘norm’. 

In a pandemic milestone that President Joe Biden hailed as ‘a great day’, the CDC revealed on Thursday vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. 

Despite it being a major step towards returning to pre-pandemic life, a handful of Democratic Governors, including New York’s Andrew Cuomo, said they would ignore the CDC guidance until fully reviewing it. 

Some big businesses, including Starbucks and Home Depot, have already said they’ll keep mask policies in place for now. Others – like CVS, Walgreens and Macy’s – are now reviewing their requirements in light of the new guidance.   

DailyMail.com spoke to New Yorkers and those in Los Angeles in the hours after the CDC’s abrupt turnaround after more than a year of urging people to cover their faces to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

While most said they excited to throw their masks away for good, many said they were slightly anxious about unmasking and others said they thought it was too soon. 

One even admitted that she had ‘self-brainwashed’ during the pandemic.

Americans have been given the all clear to strip off their masks after the CDC eased guidance for fully vaccinated people – and many say they’re excited to finally ditch the face coverings for good. Pictured above are maskless people in New York City just hours after the CDC announcement 

In a pandemic milestone that President Joe Biden hailed as 'a great day', the CDC said on Thursday vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. Manhattan's Washington Square Park was crowded with people just hours after the announcement

In a pandemic milestone that President Joe Biden hailed as ‘a great day’, the CDC said on Thursday vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. Manhattan’s Washington Square Park was crowded with people just hours after the announcement

Maskless people were spotted out and about in Los Angeles soon after the announcement. Pictured is a family at Santa Monica Pier on Thursday afternoon

Maskless people were spotted out and about in Los Angeles soon after the announcement. Pictured is a family at Santa Monica Pier on Thursday afternoon 

‘I definitely feel like there’s hope for new beginnings,’ one woman said from Manhattan’s crowded Washington Square Park.

‘I think it’s going to be a little weird. I am fully vaccinated, I’ve been waiting for this day to come but it’ll still be a little crazy. This has been the norm for so long.

‘Obviously we’re all still going to be a little uneasy about it.’

A Brooklyn man said: ‘As long as your fully vaxxed… I think it’s getting to that point where I feel comfortable.’

‘It’s exciting to not have to wear a mask and it’s exciting to transition… but I also know it’s going to be a transition,’ one woman in Brooklyn said. ‘In a crowded situation, I’ll probably knee-jerk to play it safe.’

Despite being fully vaccinated, a woman named Marisa who was dining outdoors in Manhattan said she wasn’t yet ready to unmask indoors. 

‘The idea that now I’m vaccinated I don’t need to wear a mask indoors does sound very shocking. I don’t know if I’m ready to go indoors without a mask yet,’ she said.  

‘I definitely feel like I have been self brainwashed from reading everything – it’s such a big shift and change. I’m definitely ready to be without a mask outside.’ 

Others said they would keep their masks handy and assess the situations they were in. Some said they would always wear a mask now on public transport.  

‘I’ll probably continue indoors but I also have trust and faith in modern science. We feel like it’s progress being made,’ a woman in downtown Brooklyn said. 

‘If a business wanted it, I would. I still think people are going to hesitant. At least making people feel like it’s an option.’   

One man in Brooklyn added: ‘I see it as kind of a sign of respect. In the past I associated with it being disrespectful. I’ll keep it handy just in case.’ 

DailyMail.com spoke to New Yorkers and those in Los Angeles in the hours after the CDC's abrupt turnaround after more than a year of urging people to cover their faces to prevent the spread of COVID-19

DailyMail.com spoke to New Yorkers and those in Los Angeles in the hours after the CDC’s abrupt turnaround after more than a year of urging people to cover their faces to prevent the spread of COVID-19

While most said they excited to throw their masks away for good, many said they were slightly anxious about unmasking and others said they thought it was too soon

While most said they excited to throw their masks away for good, many said they were slightly anxious about unmasking and others said they thought it was too soon

Many New Yorkers were spotted embracing the new CDC guidelines after 18 months of having to wear them. It came as New York Gov Andrew Cuomo said he would have to review the guidance before lifting his state's mask mandate

Many New Yorkers were spotted embracing the new CDC guidelines after 18 months of having to wear them. It came as New York Gov Andrew Cuomo said he would have to review the guidance before lifting his state’s mask mandate

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, issued a similar statement. Maskless residents were spotted outside on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills soon after the annoucement

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, issued a similar statement. Maskless residents were spotted outside on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills soon after the annoucement

HOW STATE GOVERNORS RESPONDED TO CDC NEWS:

New York’s Andrew Cuomo:

He said the state’s mask mandate would remain in place for now as he and the health department review CDC guidance.

‘In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening,’ he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what ‘science’ Cuomo was relying on that would counter that put out by the CDC.

California’s Gavin Newsom:

‘With (the state health department), we are reviewing the new CDC guidance on masking. CA has administered 33 million vaccines and has one of the lowest case rates in the country – we continue to encourage all eligible Californians to get vaccinated as we look to fully reopen on June 15,’ Newsom tweeted.

North Carolina’s Roy Cooper:

Indoor mask mandates will remain in place until state health department review’s guidance.

Kentucky’s Andy Beshear:

He described the CDC’s guidance as the ‘news that we have all been waiting for’.

”If you get vaccinated, the C.D.C. says it is safe to take that mask off.’

Washington’s Jay Inslee:

He removed his mask at the beginning of a press briefing, saying the state was immediately incorporating the new guidance.

‘This is a heck of a benefit for people who have been annoyed by this mask,’ he said. ‘This is a really good reason to get vaccinated. That shot is a ticket to freedom from masks.’ 

A Brooklyn couple, who put their masks on because they were about to go into a store, said they had only just learned of the new guidance and admitted it would take time to get used to.  

‘If I was around a lot of people, I would throw it back on – mainly so other people feel safe,’ they said. 

‘I’ve been wearing it for a year and a half, so wearing it for another month doesn’t matter.

‘I’m exciting to take it off. Once we get to a certain percentage of vaccinations, I am never going to wear this thing again.’  

Likewise, the reactions were mixed in California.

Los Angeles resident Terry Marx was thrilled with the decision, saying: ‘I think it’s great. I think it’s overdue But I do still intend that if there are businesses that want me to wear a mask indoors, I don’t have any problem with that, even though I’m vaccinated, because I actually believe that you have to respect whatever the wishes are of the business or the company you’re going into.’ 

Errol Isit, of Los Angeles, said: ‘So this is really good news. It’s a it’s a big milestone, really. When I found out about the news, it’s really made me happy.’ 

Tolga Eyidemir, of West Hollywood, said she’d been discussing the news with her friends but the reaction was mixed.  

‘Some of us are very happy about it because psychologically that things are getting back to normal, which is exciting. And the other part of us feel like we are not sure if it is too soon or not,’ she said.  

‘We are not sure if you’re going to be able to walk without masks until the mandate is going to be lifted off. But yeah, it’s like 50/50. I will say we are very happy about it but in the meantime, we are very concerned. Maybe too soon.’  

Some expressed concern that the new guidance meant people could lie about being vaccinated. 

‘I got my little shot of the Moderna or whatever it is, I had one and then a month later and I still like wearing my mask because I look younger and don’t have to worry about lipstick and and honestly, just better safe than sorry,’ Felix Caplan, a West Hollywood resident, told Reuters. 

‘I think a lot of people now will pretend they’re vaccinated and they’re not wearing a mask and they really didn’t get vaccinated so I got to watch out for those people too. 

‘I like wearing a mask. I don’t care. It’s, you know, how hard is it? How hard of a task is it to wear a mask? My God.’

In Washington DC, Mubarak Dahir, a 57-year-old tourist visiting from Florida, told AFP: ‘I’m still going to wear a mask inside. I think it’s premature, it’s a little dangerous to believe that we are that far already.’ 

Desmond, 67, had the opposite reaction, saying: ‘It’s great news… we have come a long way in 14 months!’ 

Despite being fully vaccinated, a woman named Marisa who was dining outdoors in Manhattan said she wasn't yet ready to unmask indoors. 'The idea that now I'm vaccinated I don't need to wear a mask indoors does sound very shocking. I don't know if I'm ready to go indoors without a mask yet,' she said.

A man in Brooklyn said: 'As long as your fully vaxxed... I think it's getting to that point where I feel comfortable'

Despite being fully vaccinated, a woman named Marisa who was dining outdoors in Manhattan said she wasn’t yet ready to unmask indoors. Meanwhile a man in Brooklyn said: ‘As long as your fully vaxxed… I think it’s getting to that point where I feel comfortable.’

This couple in Brooklyn said: 'It's a new transition for us. Happy to be out here alive without a mask.'

This couple in Brooklyn said: ‘It’s a new transition for us. Happy to be out here alive without a mask.’

'It's exciting to not have to wear a mask and it's exciting to transition... but I also know it's going to be a transition,' one woman in Brooklyn said. 'In a crowded situation, I'll probably knee-jerk to play it safe.'

‘It’s exciting to not have to wear a mask and it’s exciting to transition… but I also know it’s going to be a transition,’ one woman in Brooklyn said. ‘In a crowded situation, I’ll probably knee-jerk to play it safe.’

Despite the news from the CDC, a handful of governors across the country - all Democrats - said their own health departments would be reviewing the guidance before lifting their individual mask mandates, including in California. People are pictured above at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles

Despite the news from the CDC, a handful of governors across the country – all Democrats – said their own health departments would be reviewing the guidance before lifting their individual mask mandates, including in California. People are pictured above at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles

The approach from the governors of New York and California, for example, stands in contrast to the celebratory tone from the CDC and the White House

The approach from the governors of New York and California, for example, stands in contrast to the celebratory tone from the CDC and the White House

Despite the news from the CDC, a handful of governors across the country – all Democrats – said their own health departments would be reviewing the guidance before lifting their individual mask mandates. 

Among those reviewing the guidance are the governors of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, California and Virginia.

The mayors of New York City and Washington, D.C also said they would review the guidance.

‘In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening,’ Gov Cuomo said soon after the announcement. 

He said the state’s mask mandate would remain in place for now as he and the state’s health commissioner, Howard Zucker, assessed the new guidance.

It wasn’t immediately clear what ‘science’ Cuomo was relying on that would counter that put out by the CDC. 

‘We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states,’ Cuomo said. 

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, issued a similar statement.

‘With (the state health department), we are reviewing the new CDC guidance on masking. CA has administered 33 million vaccines and has one of the lowest case rates in the country – we continue to encourage all eligible Californians to get vaccinated as we look to fully reopen on June 15,’ Newsom tweeted. 

Their approach stands in contrast to the celebratory tone from the CDC and the White House.  

In an emotional address from the White House, Biden declared a major victory in the battle against the virus that has seen more than 580,000 Americans die.

‘I think it’s a great milestone, a great day,’ he said. 

‘All of us, let’s be patient, be patient with one another,’ Biden added, acknowledging some Americans might be hesitant about removing their masks after more than a year. 



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