New York City Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination for Restaurants, Gyms, Performances

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
August 3, 2021 Updated: August 3, 2021

New York City will become the first American city to adopt proof of COVID-19 vaccination for a variety of activities for workers and customers such as indoor dining, gyms, and performances, said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday.

“It’s time for people to see vaccination as necessary to living a good and full and healthy life,” de Blasio, a Democrat, said during a news briefing.

In elaborating, he said, “It will require vaccination for workers and customers in indoor dining, in indoor fitness facilities, indoor entertainment facilities.”

“The only way to patronize these businesses indoors is if you’re vaccinated,” de Blasio said. “If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated.”

The move, which the mayor dubbed as the “Key to NYC Pass” and is similar to vaccine mandates in France and Italy, will start later in August and enforcement will start in mid-September. Enforcement will begin on Sept. 13, following a public service announcement campaign, said the mayor, adding that entry will be denied to anyone without vaccination.

It’s not clear if the pass will be extended to other venues, including supermarkets or places that sell essential items. The Epoch Times has contacted the mayor’s office for comment.

Broadway venues and Carnegie Hall, which are both in New York City, have announced they will only allow vaccinated patrons to enter their facilities. Meanwhile, Danny Meyer, the head of a restaurant group with numerous restaurants in New York City announced a similar requirement last week.

Residents will have to present the state’s “Excelsior Pass,” the city’s vaccine pass, or a paper issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officials said, according to the New York Post.

De Blasio in recent days suggested the possibility of a vaccine passport-type system being implemented, mandating in late July that all city healthcare workers get the shot or get a weekly COVID-19 test. That mandate was then expanded to the entire city workforce.

“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 several days ago.

Civil liberties groups and Republicans have flagged vaccine passport-type systems as unconstitutional, saying they imperil basic civil liberties including the right to privacy. They’ve also said that the passports would create a two-tiered society of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

After France’s Parliament passed its “health pass” law, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Paris and other cities over the past weekend and the prior weekend. There were also mass protests in Italy, Greece, Switzerland, and Germany over COVID-19 mandates.

According to data provided by New York City, about 66 percent of adults are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.