New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce a new policy Tuesday that will require people in the city to present proof of vaccination to take part in certain indoor activities in the hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
According to the outlets, the new policy will require proof of vaccination in order to dine indoors at restaurants, work out and gyms and attend live performances.
Such a policy would be the first of its kind to be instituted across the country.
Enforcement of the new policy will reportedly begin in September.
“It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life,” de Blasio said at a news conference.
“Not everyone is going to agree with this, I understand that,” he said. “But for so many people, this is going to be a lifesaving act, that we are putting a mandate in place that is going to guarantee a much higher level of vaccination in this city. And that is the key to protecting people, and the key to our recovery.”
Join us live at City Hall for a major announcement on how New York City will lead the way in fighting back COVID and driving up vaccinations. https://t.co/MV5jan14NT— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) August 3, 2021
The city will create a program called “Key to NYC Pass” that will serve as the basis for enforcing the mandate. The city will deploy the program on a trial basis later this month before official enforcement begins in September.
The announcement comes as the delta variant causes a spike in COVID-19 cases in New York City and across the country. According to the CDC, transmission in Kings County, New York — the county that includes Brooklyn — is "high," the highest level of transmission. Transmission in Queens is "substantial" — the second-highest level.
Last week, de Blasio announced that the city would soon require all municipal workers to get vaccinated or subjected to regular COVID-19 testing.
"Let's be clear why this is so important. This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back New York City. This is about keeping people safe. This is about making sure our families get through COVID OK. This is about bringing back jobs, you name it," de Blasio said upon instituting that policy.
The New York Times reports that France has already implemented a similar program that will soon mandate proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 for certain indoor activities. It has already been implemented at amusement parks, theaters and venues hosting more than 50 people.