The indoor mask mandate in New York State expired on Thursday

That means masks no longer have to be worn inside hotels, stores, pharmacies, officers and grocery stores -- as long as the local government and business says it's OK

We want to make sure that every business knows this is your prerogative and individuals who want to continue wearing masks, continue wearing masks," said Gov. Kathy Hochul.

masks are still required at a number of places statewide -- including schools, public transportation, state health care settings, nursing homes,

"I suspect that I walk the streets of New York City as I often do, I'm still going to see a lot of people wearing masks because they will feel safer," Hochul said.

As for the roughly 4,000 city employees facing termination Friday if they aren't fully vaccinated, Mayor Eric Adams says some have now submitted their proof of vaccination.

As of Thursday, 95% of city workers had at least one vaccine dose, up from 84% in October when the mandate was announced.

NYPD and the Department of Corrections are holding at about 88% vaccinated. The FDNY and Department of Sanitation are both at 95%.

The UFT says about 700 teachers face dismissal on Friday.

Overall, the mayor says the city's vaccination rate is at 75%.

She wants kids take a provided at-home COVID test before going back to school and then again three days later.