NYC to Require Proof of Vaccine for Indoor Activities

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability with Dave A. Chokshi, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in City Hall, Monday. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

New York City will require proof of vaccine for indoor dining, indoor entertainment, and indoor fitness classes, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at his press conference on Tuesday morning.

The “Key to NYC” vaccine certification pass requirement will begin August 16 and will be enforced starting September 13.

Last month, the mayor announced that city employees would be required to present proof of vaccination or wear masks and submit to frequent testing. All front-facing health-care workers must be vaccinated, as must all recently hired city employees before they can begin working.

The city previously offered incentives such as free metrocards and museum and zoo passes to encourage people to get vaccinated. Last week, the mayor announced the city would offer $100 prepaid debit cards to people who got their first shot in a city-run site, and today he said more than 11,000 people took advantage of the financial incentive.

“When someone is vaccinated, they can do all the amazing things in New York City,” de Blasio said. “If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately you will not be able to participate in many things.”

The city will issue a mayoral executive order and a health commissioner’s order to establish the new policy. Children under 12 who are not eligible to be vaccinated will be exempt from the mandate.

Employees and customers will be required to have received at least one of the coronavirus vaccinations and present proof in the form of their vaccine card or the city’s new pass system or the state’s app.

“It’s time for people to see vaccines as literally necessary for living a full and healthy life,” de Blasio said. “This is crucial, because we know this will encourage a lot more vaccination.”

More than 70% of New York City adult residents have had at least one shot, and around 60% of all eligible residents 12 and above, or 5 million people. The unvaccinated populations are driving cases and hospitalizations from the highly infectious Delta variant.

“The goal here is to convince everyone that to stop the Delta variant, the time is now. And that means getting vaccinated right now,” the mayor said. “If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated, you’ve got to get vaccinated. It’s time.”


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