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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the city would be expanding its vaccine requirements for city workers and for children 5 to 11 who want to eat at restaurants or enter entertainment venues.
Beginning December 27, all private sector workers in New York City will be required to be vaccinated, according to the new rules. Children 5 to 11 will have to show proof of vaccination to enjoy indoor dining, fitness activities and entertainment venues around the city. The requirements for children begins December 14.
“We’ve got Omicron as a new factor. We’ve got the colder weather, which is going to really create additional challenges with the Delta variant. We’ve got holiday gatherings,” de Blasio said Monday on MSNBC. “We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of COVID and the dangers it’s causing to all of us.”
How exactly is de Blasio going to carry out such sweeping vaccination rules? He said the city will reveal those details on December 15.
“Our youngest kids, we got to reach them now. Right now in this city, it’s about 20% have gotten to that stage in that 5 to 11 range. The vaccine is relatively new,” the mayor said. “But what we’re trying to say to parents is it’s urgent. Before Omicron grows, before Delta continues to stress us even worse in the winter months, get your kid vaccinated. And here’s an incentive to do it.”
Mayor DeBlasio announces a vaccine mandate for “all private sector employers” in NYC pic.twitter.com/lqzC47iKpB
— Jewish Deplorable (@TrumpJew2) December 6, 2021
What about a booster requirement?
The mayor says that could be on the table as well.
“New York City will not give a single inch in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold, first-in-the-nation measures to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe,” de Blasio said. “From workplace mandates, to $100 incentives, to mobile and at-home vaccination offerings, no place in the nation has done more to end the COVID era. And if you have not taken this step yet: there’s no better day than today to stand up for your city.”
As expected, de Blasio will face a challenge in court over this. Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the Partnership for New York City, told ABC-7 that business leaders didn’t know about de Blasio’s plan until they heard about it in the media.
Nearly 89% of New York City adults are vaccinated while more than 125,000 children 5 to 11 have received at least one vaccine dose. Bill de Blasio’s run as New York City mayor ends January 1 when mayor-elect Eric Adams will be sworn in as the city’s new mayor.