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New York City to Require Vaccination for Indoor Dining, Gyms

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Only vaccinated New Yorkers will be allowed into indoor dining, entertainment, and fitness establishments, according to the new measure. Credit: Public Domain

New York City will require proof of vaccination for all indoor dining, performances, and gyms, mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday.

The move is the first such mandate in any city in the US, although it has been applied in some European countries, such as Greece, Italy, and France.

Those who work in restaurants, entertainment centers, theaters, and gyms will also have to be vaccinated, according to the stipulations of the new measure.

New York City requires proof of vaccination from city workers

De Blasio will introduce a vaccine pass called the “Key to NYC Pass” which will contain proof of vaccination in order to enforce the new mandate.

Those with the NY State “Excelsior” app, which also includes proof of inoculation, or the paper cards from the CDC, will be permitted entry to indoor spaces.

Hoping to urge those who have not yet received the shot to do so, de Blasio announced that the measure will be in effect starting at the end of the month, but until mid-September there will be a transition period. After then, enforcement will be strict.

This coincides with the date that children will return to schools in the city, and when many businesses aim to have a significant portion of their staff back in their normal offices.

In total, 66% of New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated, which is one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. Yet there are areas of the city where the rate of inoculation is extremely low.

De Blasio already required that all city workers either conduct weekly testing or be vaccinated, as of late July. He announced that any new hires for the city will have to be inoculated against the virus.

The Department of Veteran Affairs became the first federal agency to require its employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it announced its policy in late July.

Delta variant threatens pandemic stability

The VA will be making vaccinations a requirement for its medical personnel which includes physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, registered nurses, physician assistants and any other employee that provides medical care to veterans.

While the highly-contagious Delta variant surges across the US, many cities have begun to reinforce indoor mask mandates, which were largely done away with after the CDC announced that vaccinated people did not need to wear facial coverings indoors in May.

But recent findings about the fast-spreading variant have caused the CDC to reverse its judgement and encourage the public, even those who have received the shot, to wear masks indoors.

De Blasio has encouraged the public in his city to do so, but has not put a new indoor mask mandate in place as of Tuesday.

In Greece, proof of vaccination is required to enter any indoor dining facility, including bars and coffee shops, as well as some indoor cultural locations.

All Greek healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, EMTs, and those who work in facilities for the elderly and those with special needs, will also be required to receive the shot.

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