New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a major vaccine mandate expansion including the first in the nation for private-sector workers.
In an announcement today, the outgoing de Blasio said the mandate, which will take effect on Dec. 27, will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses.
His “Key to NYC” program previously required vaccines for workers and customers at indoor dining, fitness, entertainment and performance venues. Starting December 14, that will be expanded to require children aged 5-11 to show proof of one vaccination dose for those venues. And as of Dec. 27, New Yorkers aged 12 and older will be required to show proof of two vaccine doses, instead of one (except for those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.)
Also, five-to-11-year-old children will be required to get vaccinated to participate in “high risk” extracurricular activities including sports, band, orchestra, and dance. The requirement for the initial vaccine dose will take effect on December 14.
Gotham was early on the epicenter of the global Covid pandemic and clamped down hard on masking, distancing and more recently vaccine requirements in public venues to get the virus under control. The latest set of mandates come amid a spike in Delta and the arrival of the new Omicron variant, about which little is still known.
“New York City will not give a single inch in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold, first-in-the-nation measures to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe,” de Blasio said. “From workplace mandates, to $100 incentives, to mobile and at-home vaccination offerings, no place in the nation has done more to end the COVID era. And if you have not taken this step yet: there’s no better day than today to stand up for your city.”
“New York City has led the nation when it comes to decisive action on COVID-19,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “We have to be more relentless than the virus, and I know that our vaccine policies will save lives and help prevent unnecessary suffering.”
The City said it will issue additional enforcement and reasonable accommodation guidance on December 15, along with additional resources to support small businesses with implementation.
Acceptable proof of vaccination includes a CDC issued vaccination card, the New York State Excelsior Pass, the Clear Health Pass, and the NYC COVID Safe App.
Today’s expansions follow recently announced vaccination mandates for City employees, childcare providers, and non-public school employees. Ninety-four percent of the City workforce is vaccinated.
New York City has administered over 12.5 million vaccination doses. Nearly 6.5 million New Yorkers – including 89% of adults – have received at least one dose. More than 125,000 children aged 5-11 have already received at least one dose.
De Blasio, who has termed out, will hand the reins to incoming Democratic Mayor Eric Adams at year end. In Nov., he filed paperwork for a potential run at governor. He’d be going up against Gov. Kathy Hochul, the former Lieutenant Gov. who stepped in to finish out Andrew Cuomo’s term when he resigned in August amid sexual harassment allegations.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 6, 2021
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