New York City will require proof of vaccination for entry to a slew of indoor activities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. The first-in-the-nation mandate is part of the city’s efforts to incentivize vaccinations and curb the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant.
“If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” de Blasio said in a press conference on Tuesday. “Not everyone’s going to agree with this. I understand that,” he added, but the requirements will “be lifesaving.”
Dining inside restaurants, working out in gyms, and attending a movie or a play will all require proof of vaccination in the form of a vaccine passport — dubbed the “Key to NYC Pass” — by the state or the city’s forthcoming app as well as the CDC card given to people when they receive a shot. Workers at such establishments will also be required to be vaccinated, de Blasio said. The policy will be implemented starting on August 16 and will begin to be enforced on September 13, in time for students returning to classrooms and workers returning to offices en masse.
The mandate announcement comes just a day after de Blasio urged the vaccinated to wear masks but stopped short of a mask mandate. About 60 percent of all New Yorkers are partially vaccinated, according to city data.