You are reading

NYC will Require Vaccination Proof for Indoor Dining, Gyms Starting Tuesday

Excelsior pass app (NY State via Flickr)

Aug. 16, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Business owners who operate a bar, restaurant, gym or similar establishment must require their customers and workers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to gain entry starting Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.

The businesses that fail to comply with the vaccine mandate will face fines starting at $1,000 when enforcement begins on Sept. 13. Repeat offenders will be fined up to $5,000 per violation.

The city requires business owners to check that their customers and employees have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to be permitted inside under the new mandate, which the city has dubbed “Key to NYC.”

Businesses are only permitted to allow customers and workers inside who can show proof of vaccination either through the NYC COVID Safe app; the New York State Excelsior Pass; the CDC vaccination card — which all Americans receive when vaccinated; or a photo of their vaccine record.

New Yorkers can download the NYC COVID Safe app for Android or IOS and upload a photo of their vaccine card in order to use it, or they can get the state Excelsior Pass on the state website by answering questions about their vaccination.

Residents can also request vaccine records from the NYC Dept. of Health.

The city also requires business owners to train their staff as to what is considered acceptable proof and have a written plan for the implementation of the policy.

The business operators are only permitted to allow an unvaccinated person inside if it is to use the restroom, pick up or place an order, or any other reason that takes a short amount of time. Unvaccinated customers are permitted to sit or dine outside.

Children 12 and under are also not subject to vaccine restrictions.

Businesses must also post signage, available on the city’s website, to inform customers of the vaccine requirement.

The city has provided a list of business types where proof of the vaccine is required to gain entry. They include restaurants, bars, nightclubs, catering halls, coffee shops, hotel banquet rooms, grocery stores with indoor dining, movie and performing arts theaters, concert venues, museums and galleries, aquariums and zoos, professional sports arenas, indoor stadiums, exhibition halls, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor play areas, gyms and fitness centers, indoor pools and dance studios.

De Blasio said the mandate is part of the city’s strategy to make sure that more residents get vaccinated amid the spread of the highly-contagious delta variant. About 63 percent of all New York City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Queens, 69 percent of residents have had at least one shot.

“The Key to NYC is an approach that makes clear the power of vaccination,” he said during a morning press conference. “It is the ultimate encouragement to get people vaccinated, to say, there are so many amazing things in this city that you can participate in if you’re vaccinated.”

De Blasio added that the mandate specifically is a way to get more young people, in their 20s and 30s, vaccinated.

The mandate doesn’t apply to residential and office buildings, childcare programs and schools, senior centers, community centers, soup kitchens and food pantries.

The city is launching an aggressive outreach campaign, including a $10 million multi-platform paid media campaign, to inform business owners about the new mandate ahead of enforcement.

Business owners with questions are advised to call the NYC Department of Small Business Services hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692), 311, or go online to nyc.gov/keytonyc.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.

Queens senator holds Lunar New Year celebration at Tangram in Flushing

Hundreds of revelers joined state Senator John Liu for a Lunar New Year celebration Friday night at Tangram in Downtown Flushing. The event featured free food from 25 local restaurants, as well as musical and cultural performances and giveaways.

Liu was joined at the event by several local leaders, including Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, Councilwomen Sandra Ung and Linda Lee and many more. Many of the leaders spoke about the importance of this celebration to the Queens community as they celebrated the start of the Year of the Rabbit.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.

Flushing BID launches free online raffle to support local businesses in the community

The Flushing Business Improvement District (BID), on Friday, Jan. 20, announced the launch of Lucky7, a free online raffle to celebrate the Lunar New Year, promote local businesses, and bring shoppers from other regions to downtown Flushing. 

“This event is to celebrate the culture in Downtown Flushing. The food culture, shopping culture, but most importantly to celebrate the Lunar New Year culture in Downtown Flushing,” said Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing BID. “This is a unique opportunity for people not familiar with Downtown Flushing to truly experience the food and fun that’s only available in Flushing.”

Queens lawmaker reintroduces legislation to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday

As the Asian American community prepares to begin celebrating Lunar New Year on Sunday, Jan. 22, Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng on Friday reintroduced a package of legislation to commemorate the holiday. 

Meng’s legislative Lunar New Year package includes the Lunar New Year Day Act, which would establish Lunar New Year as the 12th federal holiday recognized across the United States. It also includes a resolution, “Recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year,” that commemorates the long history and explains the cultural importance of the holiday. 

Lunar New Year ‘special celebration’ held at Queensborough Community College in Bayside

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz joined Councilwomen Sandra Ung and Linda Lee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, for a special celebration in honor of the Lunar New Year at the Student Union Building at Queensborough Community College in Bayside.

Ung escaped the Cambodian genocide as a child, and her family emigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old. Now she represents Flushing with its enormous Asian American population. She said she is proud to see how many Lunar New Year celebrations she sees around the city compared to when she first arrived in Queens.

BP Richards, local leaders speak with small business owners in Flushing in effort to improve the neighborhood

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joined several Queens leaders Wednesday morning for a walking tour through Flushing to get input from the community on how to improve the neighborhood.

The Jan. 18 tour comes in the wake of public safety concerns in downtown Flushing. While crime was a main concern among the business owners Richards spoke with Wednesday, there were other areas they wished to see improvements in across the area, including traffic and sanitation issues.