NEW YORK – New York will be the first U.S. city to require proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to partake in many indoor activities including restaurants, bars, movie theaters, museums and gyms, although it stopped short of mandating indoor masks as some cities, counties and at least one state have done.
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that residents and visitors over the age of 12 must show proof of vaccination — by presenting a vaccination card or the soon-to-be-released “Key to NYC Pass” mobile vaccine passport.
“NYC & Company supports the City’s decision to require vaccination for indoor dining, indoor fitness and indoor entertainment and performing arts. We believe this is a wise and responsible development that ensures the safety of New Yorkers and visitors alike and will give travelers more confidence in making their decision to visit New York City. We look forward to working with the local industry to overcome any challenges that may come with implementation,” Fred Dixon, President and CEO, NYC & Company, said.
The NYC move comes at the heels of some trade shows requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated.
The mayor has decided that the best plan for the Big Apple is to focus on getting shots in arms rather than forcing indoor masking, which brings with it a threat to the city bouncing back economically from the pandemic shutdown in 2020. However, encouraging masking is a part of the strategy.
“We want to focus on vaccination, vaccination, vaccination,” de Blasio said. “We want to make very clear the separation between all the good things, all the opportunity, all the positives that will be available to people who are vaccinated versus an increasingly more limited world for folks who are unvaccinated. So, that’s the strategic thrust.”
This initiative seems to be working as according to the New York City Health Department, last Friday, 15,440 people received their first shot, the highest single-day total since June 4.
And things better get moving quickly. Over the last seven days, COVID cases have averaged nearly 2,400 each day as compared to about 650 cases each day reported in the city just a month ago. Because of the rapid increase of cases, New York City comes under the new CDC guidelines recommending masks in areas of high transmission.
Reach Fred Dixon at (212) 484-1200