New York state is dropping its mask requirement on public transportation thanks in part to the availability of new booster shots targeting the most common strain of COVID-19.

Masks will be encouraged but not required on buses and trains including the New York City subway system.

Face coverings had been required on public transportation statewide since April 2020 when New York was first ravaged by the coronavirus. Compliance in the subway system was high early in the pandemic but had dropped steeply in recent months.

Masks will still be required in health care settings including hospitals and nursing homes.