Aug. 3, 2021 -- New York City will soon require proof of vaccination for certain indoor sites, such as restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
The mandate will apply to both workers and customers at those locations. The policy is similar to orders that were put in place in France and Italy in July and is likely the first in the U.S., according to The New York Times.
The order is the latest part of de Blasio’s plan to encourage people to get vaccinated. The mandate, which requires both workers and customers to have at least one vaccine dose, will start during the week of Aug. 16, and after a transition period, enforcement will begin after Labor Day as schools reopen.
“That means more and more vaccinations,” he said, adding that “it's time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life.”
As part of the program, New York City will create a health pass, called the Key to NYC Pass, to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, gyms, and performances. New Yorkers will be able to visit outdoor venues without showing proof of vaccination, but they must use the city’s new app, the state’s digital app, or a paper card to enter indoor venues.
But the state-created app, called the Excelsior Pass, has already had problems with rollout. Many New Yorkers have reported that it takes weeks or months after getting vaccinated to receive the pass. De Blasio did not say if the Key to NYC Pass will use the same technology as the state pass.
About 66% of adults in the city are fully vaccinated, according to the city health department. Manhattan and Queens have the highest vaccination rates, with 75% and 72%, respectively. In the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, vaccination rates range from 58% to 62%.
Last week, de Blasio announced that New York City workers are required to get vaccinated or face weekly testing. He also offered a $100 incentive for city residents to get a shot.
“We think it is so important to make clear that if you are vaccinated, you get to benefit in all sorts of ways,” he said Monday during an interview on NY1.
“You get to live a better life. Besides your health in general, you get to participate in many, many things,” he said. “And if you’re unvaccinated, there are going to be fewer and fewer things that you’re able to do.”