Two weeks after the city announced new vaccination requirements, the mandate is set to go into effect tomorrow.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the vaccine mandate would begin on Tuesday, August 17. Many indoor businesses will be required to check for proof of vaccination before allowing patrons to enter.
“The Key to NYC sends a powerful message that vaccination will unlock our city’s potential, and we’ll stop at nothing to save lives and keep New Yorkers safe,” de Blasio said.
Indoor entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, museums and professional sports venues, are covered the order. So are indoor dining spots like restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Gyms, fitness centers and other indoor fitness activities are also included.
Outdoor dining is excluded from the order, as are residential buildings, office buildings and schools. Many commercial landlords are setting their own rules for vaccination and Covid testing requirements.
Children under the age of 12 will not be required to show proof of vaccination, as this group is still not eligible to be vaccinated. Additionally, quick activities like running inside a restaurant to grab a pick-up order won’t require a vaccination check.
Valid proof of vaccination includes a CDC card (hard copy or photo), the NYC Covid Safe App, the state’s Excelsior app, an official vaccine record or a record of a vaccination administered outside of the United States from select manufacturers.
New York City — like the rest of the country — appeared to be trending in the right direction a couple of months ago as new Covid cases fell. But a surge driven by the Delta variant and the rise of the anti-vaccine movement has reversed that progress, forcing many companies to delay return-to-office plans and spurring the city’s new vaccination requirements.
In recent weeks, the percentage of people testing positive for Covid in the city, as well as total cases and hospitalizations, have been on the rise. The city reports a daily average of 1,757 cases over the past week, including daily averages of 75 hospitalizations and five deaths.
Enforcement of the new policy is not set to begin until September 13, giving businesses and residents a month to work out any kinks. At that point, penalties for compliance failure will begin at $1,000 and can rise to $5,000 for repeat offenders.
As of Monday, 63 percent of the city’s population is at least partially vaccinated, with 56 percent of the population fully vaccinated.