Ian Conroy is feeling hopeful about the future of Mustang Harry’s after a tough year. He thinks new CDC guidance saying that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors in many settings will make people more inclined to go out.
“Every bit of positive news means that first of all, the confidence comes into the people, and then more confidence, then business kicks on, because we really can’t survive unless businesses are kicking over,” he said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said his team is reviewing the new guidance with health experts, so it’s not clear yet how this news will impact bars and restaurants.
Patron Davon Veal says the announcement does make him feel more comfortable easing back to normalcy.
“It’s not over yet, but we’re getting there. We’re getting there,” Veal said.
The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings, including hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.
Masks are also still required on planes, trains, and buses.
People we talked to had mixed feelings.
Nate LaGuardia said he thinks it will take time before determining if the new guidance is a good idea, once it’s clear where the numbers go after this. Still, he’s glad to ditch the mask.
"I mean, I am fully vaccinated," he said."I’m sick of the mask. Get it off of me, that’s what I say."
"Way too soon. People are not safe," said Darnell McCullough, who commutes to Manhattan. "I believe it’s going to take some time to achieve any level of normalcy."
“I’m excited to get rid of the mask, but I’m worried about people who are not vaccinated,” said Jeneyet Melamed.
For Conroy, the new guidance is another step towards bringing the city, and Mustang Harry's, back to its pre-pandemic energy.
“We’re not in what you would call a residential area. We need commuters and we need office people and we need half capacity, preferably full capacity, at Madison Square Garden,” Conroy said.
CDC officials did warn that guidance could change should there be another surge in COVID-19 cases.