City vaccine mandate goes into effect

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Key to NYC vaccination mandate for indoor dining, entertainment and fitness began on August 17. Enforcement will begin, with a multi-agency coalition, on September 13.
“New York City has one mission: defeat the delta variant and build a recovery for all of us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The Key to NYC sends a powerful message that vaccination will unlock our city’s potential, and we’ll stop at nothing to save lives and keep New Yorkers safe.”
The city will conduct an aggressive outreach and education campaign, including a $10 million multi-platform paid media campaign. This campaign will include radio, TV, digital, social, subway live boards.
Approximately 600 canvassers will be going door to door for affected businesses with the goal of reaching every zip code in the city in the next three weeks.
Indoor entertainment venus affected include movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums and galleries, aquariums and zoos, professional sports arenas, indoor stadiums, convention centers, exhibition halls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, pool and billiard halls, recreational game centers, adult entertainment, and indoor play areas.
Indoor dining establishment affected by the mandate include restaurants, catering halls, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, grocery stores with indoor dining, coffee shops, and fast food/quick service with indoor dining
Indoor fitness facilities affected include gyms, fitness centers, fitness classes, pools, indoor studios, and dance studios
Places excluded from this mandate include dining where food is consumed offsite or outdoors only. Businesses that choose to remove indoor seating entirely are not subject to the mandate.
Other exclusions include residential and office buildings, childcare programs, pre-K through grade 12 public and non-public schools and programs, senior centers, churches hosting Sunday potlucks or similar events, community centers, charitable food services, and catering at someone’s home
People excluded from this mandate include children under the age of 12, and anyone entering for a minimum amount of time required for a limited purpose, such as bathroom use or picking up or placing an order.
Other people not required to comply with the mandate include performing artists who do not reside in New York City and are not regularly employed by the entity, professional athletes or members of professional sports teams who do not reside in the city but enter a premises for the purpose of competing, and individuals accompanying performing artists or a sports team or professional athlete as part of their regular employment and who do not reside in New York City.
Contractors who do not reside with in the five boroughs are also excluded.
Each Key to NYC business should consider appropriate reasonable accommodations, mindful of the purposes behind this policy and public health.
There are multiple ways to show proof of vaccination. These include a photo or hard copy of a CDC vaccination card, NYC COVID Safe App, New York State Excelsior App, official vaccine record, or a photo or hard copy of an official vaccination record of a vaccine administered outside the United States.
Affected small businesses with questions can contact the Department of Small Business Services hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692), 311, or go online at
Penalties for failure to comply after September 13 start at $1,000 and can reach $5,000 for repeated violators.
“The Key to NYC will unlock many of our favorite activities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. “Vaccination makes every activity safer and this is a common-sense precaution to keep patrons of gyms, restaurants and indoor entertainment healthy.”

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