Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new rules Tuesday, August 3rd, saying the program will begin later this month and enforcement will begin in mid-September. Those wishing to partake in indoor activities will need to show their paper vaccination cards, or use digital vax passports like New York State’s Excelsior app, or a new NYC-specific app, “Key to NYC Pass.”
NYC’s proof of vaccine mandate is similar to rules issued recently in France and Italy, but NYC is believed to be the first place in the United States to adopt such measures. Other major cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. have, however, recently reinstated indoor mask mandates as the Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to spread.
The point of the mandate appears to be to encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, with de Blasio saying during a press conference that “vaccination has made the difference” in fighting Covid-19 and the Delta variant. “This is the whole ballgame, everyone.”
In an interview with NY1, de Blasio added, “We think it is so important to make clear that if you are vaccinated, you get to benefit in all sorts of ways. You get to live a better life. Besides your health in general, you get to participate in many, many things. And if you’re unvaccinated, there are going to be fewer and fewer things that you’re able to do.”
During his press conference, de Blasio also touched on the city’s various “homecoming” concerts, which will take place outdoors but will nevertheless require attendees to provide proof of vaccine. “Our homecoming concerts are going to be amazing,” de Blasio said. “But if you want to go to one, you have to be vaccinated. That’s a requirement.”