As of Tuesday, New York City eateries, indoor entertainment venues and exercise facilities will require proof of vaccination to enter. This includes zoos, catering halls, event spaces, and grocery stores with indoor dining space.
Mayor Bill de Blasio touted the “Key to NYC” initiative as a way to encourage vaccinations. Though initially scheduled to be implemented Monday, August 16, the deadline was pushed off by one day, the mayor announced at his press conference.
“The goal here is to convince everyone that this is the time. If we’re going to stop the delta variant, the time is now,” the mayor said.
The mandate will not be enforced until September 13.
Incentives such as free passes to popular city sites such as zoos and museums have proven to be successful. After the mayor announced the city would offer a $100 debit card incentive to people getting their first shot at city-run sites, the city saw another 50,000 people getting their vaccine.
Dozens of businesses had previously taken their own initiative and mandated vaccines or proof of a negative coronavirus test.
Proof can be in the form of a CDC vaccine card (or a photo of it), the digital New York State Excelsior Pass, or the NYC COVID Safe app.
“We already pushed through December. We have the heaters outside. We have the ability to adjust,” restaurant owner Shane Hathaway told ABC 7. “We’ll do what we have to do to create a comfortable environment for all our customers.”
His restaurant will require photo ID and vaccine proof.
Not all businesses are in favor, and some have attempted to sue the city or threatened to not comply.
Midtown Manhattan restaurant owner Art Depole told CNBC that he’s worried the mandate will be too confusing for diners and drive them away. “Customers and restaurants aren’t really going to know what’s happening with this,” he warned. “It seems like more of the locals are on board and understand it, but the tourists and the out-of-towners say, ‘Oh no, that’s the last time you’re going to see me in the city.’ It’s a polarizing issue.”
Updated Monday, August 16, 2021 at 12:28 pm .