New York City is mandating proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter many indoor businesses in the city, including indoor restaurants and entertainment venues, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
The “Key to NYC Pass,” as de Blasio called it at Tuesday’s press briefing, is the first of its kind in a major US city, as governments move to increase vaccination rates amid a spike in the Delta variant of COVID-19.
“We know this will encourage a lot more vaccinations,” de Blasio said. “The goal here is to convince everyone that this is the time to stop the Delta variant.”
The mandate, which will begin on Sept. 13, will also require that workers in these indoor facilities be vaccinated before returning to work. 55% of the City is fully vaccinated, according to City data.
The Pass marks a strategic shift away from mask mandates, which the city has not reinstated despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that all people wear masks indoors in areas of substantial transmission. All five boroughs of the city are considered to have “substantial” or “high” transmission, according to the CDC Tuesday.
Nearby Newark, where the Seton Hall Law campus is located, has yet to indicate if it will pursue similar measures. Newark has consistently struggled to reach high vaccination levels, with only 43% of its residents fully vaccinated, according to state data.
South Orange, where Seton Hall’s main campus is located, has vaccinated 69% of its population.
Daniel O’Connor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @itsDanOConnor.