NYC to require vaccines for indoor dining, gyms and performance venues

New restrictions, effective mid-September, stop short of indoor mask mandate

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new requirements for indoor activities as New York City tries to increase vaccination rates amid rising caseloads driven by the Delta variant.

On Tuesday, the mayor announced that proof of vaccination against Covid will be required for activities such as indoor dining, going to the gym or attending performances. Workers at those places will also need to be vaccinated, according to the New York Times.

Enforcement of the requirements, the first of their kind in any U.S. city, will begin in September.

New Covid cases in the city, which had dipped to below 200 per day in June, have remained stubbornly on the rise since early July. City workers will be faced with weekly testing if they aren’t vaccinated by September 13, while the Durst Organization and Related Companies are both threatening termination for workers who remain unvaccinated by Labor Day.

Around 66 percent of adults in the city are fully vaccinated, while 72 percent have received at least one dose, according to data from the city’s health department.

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New York City is trying to incentivize residents to get vaccinated by offering perks, including $100 rewards for receiving a shot. But the city is also preparing to make it more difficult for the unvaccinated to participate in certain activities, hoping that it will encourage more people to get at least one dose.

People will be allowed to dine outdoors without proof of vaccination. To go indoors, however, people will have to either show the city’s new “Key to NYC Pass,” the state’s Excelsior app or a paper vaccination card.

In Los Angeles, many restaurants are asking indoor diners to show either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.

[NYT] — Holden Walter-Warner