New York City will require proof of vaccination for many indoor activities later this month.
On Tuesday, N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will require proof of vaccination to gain access to an array of indoor spots, including restaurants, fitness centers and entertainment facilities, becoming the first major city in the United States to do so.
The move, which is intended to put pressure on people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, will affect both workers and customers who will have to prove that they have received at least one vaccine dose, according to The Washington Post. The new requirements take effect on Aug. 16.
"It's time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life," de Blasio, 60, said during news conference, per The New York Times. "Not everyone is going to agree with this; I understand that."
"But for so many people, this is going to be a lifesaving act, that we are putting a mandate in place that is going to guarantee a much higher level of vaccination in this city," he added. "And that is the key to protecting people, and the key to our recovery."
About 60% of New York City residents have received at least one vaccine dose, while over 10 million doses have been administered in the city as of Monday, as well, data shows.
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According to the Times, de Blasio had been "reluctant" to move forward with an indoor mask mandate once more and instead wants to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated. "If you want to participate in our society fully, you've got to get vaccinated," he said. "It's time."
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According to the Times, N.Y.C. will be able to move ahead with the mandate by issuing a health commissioner's order and a mayoral executive order.
De Blasio also said, per the outlet, that his administration will now spend the two weeks ahead of the new ruling "listening to feedback from the business community" before final details are put in place.
Inspections, as well as enforcement of the new mandate, will begin in mid-September, de Blasio said during the press conference.
"The goal here is to convince everyone that this is the time," de Blasio said. "If we're going to stop the delta variant, the time is now."
As part of the new ruling, N.Y.C. will also craft a health pass — deemed the "Key to N.Y.C. Pass" — which will provide proof of vaccination status that will be required of workers and other individuals, the Times reported.
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