Aug. 3, 2021 By Christian Murray
New York City will require people who enter restaurants, gyms and entertainment facilities to provide proof of vaccination—part of the mayor’s push to get the population vaccinated against COVID-19.
The policy will be phased in starting the week of Aug. 16 and it will apply to both patrons and workers of those establishments, said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press briefing this morning. The city will begin inspections and enforcement the week of Sept. 13.
“If you want to enjoy everything great about this city, you have to get vaccinated,” de Blasio said. “If you are vaccinated it will open up to you.”
The policy is being phased in to allow businesses to get up to speed with the new mandate. Enforcement will begin at a time when schools reopen and more workers return to their offices.
The mayor said that the city will be creating a so-called health pass called the “Key to NYC Pass” that will provide proof of vaccination. However New Yorkers will be able to show their state “Excelsior Pass” or their Centers for Disease Control’s paper vaccine card.
The administration does not believe that the initiative will be difficult for businesses to follow, since most have grown accustom to the changes since COVID-19 struck. Most businesses have been conducting temperature checks, and restaurants/bar staff have always checked people’s ID to ensure customers are of drinking age.
The move is part of the mayor’s campaign to increase the number of New Yorkers who have been vaccinated.
“Five million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the vaccine—now we are going to go further,” de Blasio said. He said the city has to use “every tool we got to fight the delta variant.”
De Blasio has focused most of his efforts on vaccinations. He has been reluctant to reinstate an indoor mask mandate as recommended by the CDC last week. Instead, on Monday he strongly encouraged New Yorkers to wear them.
Cities such as San Francisco and Washington require its residents to wear masks indoors.