Date: March 30, 2022
To: The NYU Community
From: Katherine Fleming, Provost; Martin Dorph, Exec. Vice President; and Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Vice President for Campus Health

Easing NYU’s Mask-Wearing Rules

Phase 1: Masks no longer required in discretionary or optional spaces and activities

Effective immediately, the University is suspending its mask-wearing mandate in “discretionary” or “optional” locations across campus. The mask mandate will remain in effect in “obligatory” spaces (classrooms and workplaces).

  • As with the prior distinctions we drew in easing restrictions on indoor eating, “obligatory” spaces — where mask wearing will continue to be required — should be construed as any setting where attendance is required. Examples would include:
    • Classrooms or other instructional spaces
    • Meetings, huddles, or events in which in-person participation is obligatory
    • Workplaces
    • All library facilities
    • University Transportation, such as NYU shuttle buses and Safe Ride
    • Healthcare settings, including the Student Health Center 
  • “Discretionary” or “optional” spaces — where mask-wearing will no longer be required — should be understood to mean settings where attendance is not required. These are the same settings in which indoor eating is permitted. Examples could include:
    • Residence hall lounges
    • Gyms
    • Kimmel lounges and common areas
    • Meetings or events where no one’s presence is mandatory (so, for instance, if there were a student meeting that a University employee had to attend, it would not be considered “discretionary” and masks must be worn)

Addressing non-compliance: Non-compliance with mask-wearing rules in settings where it remains mandatory should continue to be addressed as it has previously.

Change in Mask-Wearing Rules for Performing Arts Students

Students will be permitted to remove their masks while actively singing, dancing, acting, or playing a musical instrument in a show/performance in which there is an audience. Students must otherwise remain masked in the classroom, studio, and rehearsals (except for final rehearsals before performances, so that performers have an opportunity to rehearse without masks before the performance).

Please note: Audience members at live performances are still required to wear masks.

Phase 2: Additional Easing of Mask-Wearing Restrictions

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be continuing to monitor campus and city public health data; barring any radical changes in the public health landscape, we anticipate being able to ease mask-wearing restrictions further.

Please Note: Any member of the community who wishes to continue wearing a mask in any setting is fully free to do so, and their decision to do so is supported by the University. No assumptions should be made about anyone who continues to wear a mask, nor should anyone who continues to wear a mask be pressured to take their mask off in any setting.

Changes to Travel Policies

The overwhelming majority of faculty and staff travel no longer needs to be approved by NYU’s Travel Review Committee, though travelers will still need to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination as a prerequisite for the reimbursement of travel-related expenses (University-sponsored student travel must still be submitted for approval).

Faculty and staff who have both requested and received medical or religious exemptions from the University must submit any travel request to prior to the anticipated travel. An approval, if granted, must be included with any reimbursement request in order for it to be processed.

In addition, due to increased safety and security concerns, pre-approval from the University’s insurance/travel safety provider is now required for travel to some countries. That list is posted here, and is updated frequently, so please be sure to consult it prior to any travel. If you are seeking to travel to a country on the list, please complete this form to begin the process, and a member of the University’s travel safety team will be in touch within two business days. Please note that approval from our insurance provider can take 30-45 days. If you have any questions, please email

Keep each other Safe