NEW YORK — Beginning Monday, students at public schools will no longer have to wear a mask outdoors – but mask mandates will remain in effect inside school buildings.

What You Need To Know

  • Starting on Monday, public school students will not have to wear their masks when they're outside on school days

  • That means students can remove face coverings during activities like recess or gym

  • Masks will still be required indoors for all students and staff

Since schools reopened, students and staff have been required to wear masks at all times on school property – even outside. That rule has since been questioned by many parents, considering the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention’s guidance that, generally, people do not need to wear masks outdoors.

The new policy means that starting next week, students and staff can choose to remove their masks when they’re outside in the school yard during activities such as recess or gym.

“Throughout the pandemic, our schools have remained some of the safest spaces for our students and staff, thanks to our gold standard health and safety protocol,” Schools Chancellor David Banks said in a statement. “I am so pleased that we are able to make this exciting announcement and safely allow students and staff to remove their masks when outdoors at NYC public schools.”

Speaking on "Mornings On 1" Friday, Mayor Eric Adams said his administration continues to follow the science in regards to easing mandate restrictions.

"You saw the schools chancellor stated that no more masks outdoors and we are going to eventually, in the next few weeks, look at releasing some of the other mandates that are in place," Adams noted.

Students will still have to wear masks indoors – under both a city and state mask mandate.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has said she’ll look at data collected from student COVID-19 tests next week, when students return from February break, to determine whether or not to lift the statewide mandate.

That would leave it up to local districts like New York City to decide whether masks will have to remain on faces in classrooms.