NYC Mayor Eric Adams Continues State of Emergency, Extends Vaccine Mandate for Many Indoor Settings

January 2, 2022 Updated: January 2, 2022

New York Mayor Eric Adams signed two separate executive orders after he was sworn into his new position in Times Square on New Year’s Day.

The first order will continue the city’s state of emergency pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency was put in place by former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.

The second order extends the city’s “Key to NYC” program (pdf), which mandates COVID-19 vaccine passports for many indoor settings, including for dining, entertainment, and fitness venues. The vaccination requirements apply to those aged 5 and older.

To access various venues as part of the Key to NYC program, children aged 5 to 11 must show proof of full vaccination by Jan. 29. Currently, they only need to present proof of one vaccine dose if they took the mRNA-based Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

“Our focus in the weeks and months ahead will be on beating back the #Omicron surge and putting our city on a path toward an equitable recovery,” Adams, 61, wrote on Twitter. “We’ll work day in and day out to get that done.”

Adams, a former New York City police captain, signed the executive orders after having delivered an inaugural address from City Hall, where he urged the city’s nearly 9 million residents to get vaccinated.

“Getting vaccinated is not letting the crisis control you,” Adams said. “Enjoying a Broadway show, sending your kids to school, going back to the office: These are declarations of confidence that our city is our own.”

The city’s municipal workforce is required to be vaccinated. New York has also recently required employees in the private sector to get the vaccine, the most sweeping mandate of any state or big city in the United States—and a policy Adams has said he’ll preserve.

Adams has also said he and his advisers are studying whether to expand the vaccine mandates even further and plan to distribute face masks and rapid tests, as well as introduce a color-coded system alerting New Yorkers to the current threat level.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter covering world news with a focus on U.S. news. Based in Australia, she has a background in clinical optometry. Contact Mimi at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com