Locals react to NY’s mask mandate change

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It was all smiles for four men at Watertown’s Johnny D’s. Their weekly lunch together kicked off, and with it came a side of big news. Masks and social distancing will no longer be required for fully vaccinated people in most cases starting Wednesday.

“It’s going to be great for those who are vaccinated. I don’t know about the rest of the world,” said Trey Vars.

The new guidance could mean that vaccinated people can ditch their masks completely in places like restaurants, if owners are on board.

“I think it’s fantastic. It’s about time,” said Don Coon.

But good friends don’t always agree with each other.

“I think it’s too early. We are depending on people who have not been vaccinated to tell the truth and I think they are going to be too many people who say, ‘Oh, yeah, I don’t need it anymore because I’ve been vaccinated,’ but they haven’t really,” said Bert Gault.

Meanwhile on Public Square, Nancy Cane and John Fracchia wear their masks. The couple, visiting from Caroline, New York, say they’re glad they got the shot, so they won’t always have to cover their faces around others.

“I think it’s following science and the CDC guidelines. I believe in science, and so I feel pretty safe being vaccinated,” they said.

Back at the lunch table, Steve Haas says he’s had his fill of COVID and the regulations that came with it. He say’s it’s time to look toward the future.

“I’m looking for some semblance of normalcy as we knew it before the pandemic,” he said.

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