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New York City will mandate proof of vaccination to enter certain indoor businesses — including restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms — and deny entry to those without the jab, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce Tuesday.
The initiative, to be dubbed the “Key to NYC Pass,” marks a significant escalation of the city’s efforts to curb the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant, and will launch in mid-August and enforcement will begin in September following a public service announcement campaign, administration officials said.
The program is modeled after the vaccine passport programs rolled out in France and other European countries, according to de Blasio administration officials.
New Yorkers will be required to show either the state’ “Excelsior Pass,” the city’s new vaccine pass or Center for Disease Control’s paper vaccine card, as proof of vaccination, officials told The Post.
Unlike the newly released rules for city workers, those who are unvaccinated will not have an option to receive a COVID-19 test, administration sources said. The restrictions will not apply to outdoor dining, sources said.
City Hall officials said de Blasio will announce more details on the vaccine requirement during his regular mid-morning virtual press briefing on Tuesday.
In recent days, de Blasio has repeatedly floated the possibility of ramping up restrictions and vaccine requirements. He mandated in late July that all public health system employees get their shots or receive a weekly coronavirus test — and then expanded the requirement for the entire city workforce.
“We’ve got to shake people at this point and say, ‘Come on now.’ We tried voluntary. We could not have been more kind and compassionate. Free testing, everywhere you turn, incentives, friendly, warm embrace. The voluntary phase is over,” de Blasio said on MSNBC last week. “It’s time for mandates, because it’s the only way to protect our people.”
During a an appearance on CNN, the mayor left the door open to soon imposing vaccination requirements to enter city bars and restaurants.
“Given everything we’re learning, all options are on the table,” he said Friday. “I keep saying we’re climbing the ladder in terms of more and more mandates.”
And on Monday, the mayor hinted at the Big Apple moving toward a “reality” in which those who do not get vaccinated are barred from certain settings.
“More and more, there’s going to be a reality where, if you’re vaccinated, a world of opportunity opens up to you. If you’re not vaccinated, there’s going to be more and more things you can’t do,” de Blasio said during his virtual press briefing, when he announced that the city will only hire vaccinated workers and advised all New Yorkers to wear masks in indoor, public settings.
“I say that to say, go get vaccinated, so you can fully participate in the life of this city, because that’s where things are going.”
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