With coronavirus cases increasing and vaccine adoption leveling off, New York City is taking matters into its own hands to avoid the possibility of another lockdown. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will mandate proof of vaccination for "leisure indoor activities at restaurants, gyms and performances."
It will be the first major city to do this. The "Key to NYC Pass" program will begin on August 16th for a transition period until September 13th when it will be fully enforced.
"It is time for people to see vaccinations as literally necessary to living a good, full and healthy life," de Blasio said. "If you're unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things." Both workers and customers will be required to be fully vaccinated.
About 70% of New Yorkers have at least one shot of the vaccine with 66% fully vaccinated. The mayor noted that the mandate is to send a clear message “If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated. It’s time.”
ABC 7 reports there will be no option to show a negative COVID test in place of vaccination. No vaccination, no entry.
Citizens can display their paper card, the new "Key to NYC" digital app, or Excelsior app to prove their vaccine status.
France and Italy have enacted similar measures. England is considering doing the same.
"We think it is so important to make clear that if you are vaccinated, you get to benefit in all sorts of ways," de Blasio noted. "You get to live a better life. Besides your health in general, you get to participate in many, many things. And if you're unvaccinated, they are going to be fewer and fewer things that you're able to do."