In New York City, those who want to experience most indoor activities like dining, live performances and more will have to provide proof they are vaccinated or be denied entry.
The New York Daily News reports that Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday (August 3) the mandate amidst the rise of COVID-19 rates in his city in an effort to get more people vaccinated.
The requirement is presumed to be the first of its kind in the United States and mirrors enforcement some European countries have installed.
The program, called “Key to NYC Pass,” will launch on August 16 and will be phasing in during the coming weeks prior to the start of the school year on September 13.
“This is crucial because we know that this will encourage a lot more vaccination,” de Blasio said in his daily briefing from City Hall, according to the Daily News.
Additionally, the mayor acknowledged that the new mandate would draw controversy and backlash.
“Not everyone is going to agree with this, I understand that. But for so many, this will be a life-saving act,” he said.
Physical vaccination cards and the state’s Excelsior Pass app will be acceptable forms of proof to gain entry to indoor activities in the city.
The Daily News reports that around 40 percent of the city’s total population remains unvaccinated.
The new mandate comes as de Blasio has unveiled several incentives and other mandates in recent days. Last week, he announced that the city would give $100 to people who get vaccinated and mandated that all city workers either be vaccinated or tested once a week and wear a mask while at their job. Yesterday, he said NYC would require all newly-hired municipal workers to be vaccinated in order to work.