In response to rising worries regarding criminal activity in the city, Mayor Eric Adams has urged local businesses to require customers to remove masks before entering.
By ensuring that people’s faces are visible on surveillance cameras, the mayor’s proposal seeks to reduce robbery incidences. This action is consistent with the viewpoint stated by senior law enforcement authorities, who likewise advocated for unmasking in public areas.
The police department has admitted retail theft is decreasing, but the mayor believes preventive steps are necessary to protect public safety.
NY Officials Advising Individuals to Remove Masks
Despite not being legally obligatory, the current calls for unmasking by city leaders represent a significant shift in New York’s COVID-19 rules.
For the first time in three years, officials are advising individuals to remove their masks in specific contexts, indicating a shift away from the former blanket mask rules.
Despite the fact that New York has eased most of its COVID-19 rules over the past year, the decision to wear a mask has largely been left to the discretion of the person.
Yet, the most recent plan indicates there may be instances in which removing masks could be advantageous, highlighting the city’s shifting approach to pandemic control.
Mayor Adams wants people to remove masks when entering NYC businesses in push to reduce rising thefts — but noted that shoppers could don coverings moments after entering
It runs counter to COVID-era recs to mask up when in enclosed, public spaces. 😷🍎🛍️https://t.co/1w1pfxISad
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 6, 2023
Adams stated on Tuesday that he created a special committee within the NYPD to evaluate the department’s investigations into “political activities,” which allegedly include ties to terrorism.
The committee’s responsibility is to ensure these investigations are done legally and in accordance with departmental norms.
Adams extended his plea for customers to remove face masks before entering stores by noting many people wear masks not out of fear of the pandemic, but rather to conceal their identity from law enforcement.
The New York mayor believes by asking consumers to remove their masks before entering establishments, the NYPD will be able to curb criminal conduct and employ surveillance equipment to identify and convict criminals.
NY Mayor’s Remarks Reflect Broader Worry
The mayor’s remarks reflect a broader worry regarding criminal behavior in the city and the necessity for proactive efforts to combat it.
While some may perceive the suggestion as a potential invasion of privacy, Adams contends that the benefits of increased public safety exceed any potential disadvantages.
To prevent robberies, “we are putting out a clear call to all of our shops, do not allow people to enter the store without taking off their face mask,” Mayor Eric Adams of New York City said. https://t.co/KbmBdyENjj
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 7, 2023
Some have expressed concern that mandating company owners to enforce unmasking procedures places an unnecessary burden on them to combat crime.
Mayor Eric Adams responded by emphasizing the NYPD is expanding its presence in high-traffic shopping areas to protect public safety. In addition, the mayor stated that off-duty NYPD officers can offer security for businesses via a paid detail program.
Following Chief Maddrey’s remarks last week, the mayor’s press secretary, Fabien Levy, refuted the notion that such calls by the mayor and NYPD constitute a “slippery slope” towards banning masks.
Levy instead compared them to the Transportation Security Administration’s requirement that passengers briefly remove their masks in airport security lines.