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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a strict new COVID mandate, which requires proof of vaccination for those who want to dine or drink indoors, go to the gym or attend other social events in New York City, starting Tuesday.
While the mandate will not be formally enforced until Sept. 13, the mayor said the Key to NYC program will require anyone who wants to eat inside or attend indoor events to show proof of vaccination.
“There are so many amazing things that you can experience in this city if you are vaccinated,” de Blasio said. “We want you to enjoy the fullness of the city but you have to be vaccinated.”
De Blasio said the purpose of the program is to make it safe for vaccinated people to keep enjoying a normal life and to encourage people to get the shot.
“This is going to motivate a lot of people to get vaccinated,” de Blasio said. “It’s going to be a reason to get vaccinated particularly for young people.”
Anyone who wants to eat indoors or attend other indoor events will have to show proof of vaccination, either in the form of a paper vaccination record or a digital record like the New York State Excelsior Pass that verifies vaccination status or negative test results, he said.
The rules will also cover virtually all indoor activities including bars, museums, concert halls and strip clubs.
During a Monday news conference, de Blasio explained the rules as a way to give the majority of New Yorkers who are vaccinated more freedom to experience everything the city has to offer safely without fear of infection from the virulent delta variant of COVID-19.
“Vaccination allows you to enjoy all that’s good in life,” he said.
He predicted that the rules would actually encourage more people to go out to eat and drink, and said unvaccinated people will still be able to eat outdoors and take part in other outdoor activities, although he said the city might tighten rules in the future.
“People prefer to go in an environment in which they can feel safer,” de Blasio said.