NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced that unvaccinated professional athletes and performers can resume playing and performing in NYC.
Irving, a vaccine holdout, had been among the most high-profile people impacted. He was able to rejoin the team in January but only when they played out-of-town games.
This month, concerns had been raised that the rule would also impact Major League Baseball, with it applying at the outdoor baseball parks in the Bronx and Queens.
"We were treating our performers differently because they lived and played for home teams? It's not acceptable," said Adams.
Not everyone agrees with Adams' decision.
Former NYC health advisor, Dr. Jay Varma, tweeted about his dismay over the exemption and that the mandate had legal standing because it applied to everyone.
"#VaccinesWork. unless you're rich and powerful, in which case, #LobbyingWorks," Varma wrote. He added: "The #KyrieCarveOut opens City up to entire scheme being voided by courts as "'arbitrary and capricious."'
The Police Benevolent Association came out against the exemption.
"If the mandate isn’t necessary for famous people, then it’s not necessary for the cops who are protecting our city in the middle of a crime crisis," said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch.
"While celebrities were in lockdown, New York City police officers were on the street throughout the pandemic, working without adequate PPE and in many cases contracting and recovering from COVID themselves. They don’t deserve to be treated like second-class citizens now."
Adams has been rolling back vaccine mandates and other coronavirus restrictions, including on Tuesday when he said masks could become optional for children under 5 starting April 4.
Mask mandates for older children have already been removed, as well as rules requiring people to show proof of vaccination to dine in a restaurant, work out at a gym or attend a show or go to an indoor sporting event.