Published on : Thursday, September 16, 2021
Starting Monday, New York City has started to enforce its Covid-19 vaccine passport program, known as “Key to NYC,” for most indoor activities as part of the city’s broad reopening plan.
The city requires proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 12 and older for indoor dining, indoor fitness activities and indoor entertainment, including movie theaters, concert venues, museums and sports arenas.
All businesses have also been asked to check the vaccination status of all staff and customers 12 and older to avoid fines. Residents can show proof of vaccination in the form of a CDC vaccination card, NYC vaccination record, the New York state Excelsior Pass or the NYC Covid Safe App.
Last week Mayor Bill de Blasio said that civilian inspectors from 13 city agencies are expected to begin the enforcement of these rules. These inspectors will investigate to make sure that travelling procedures are being followed and that businesses have installed proper signage about the requirement, and employees are properly checking for proof-of-vaccination.
The inspectors from 13 agencies will include the FDNY, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Buildings, the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the NYC Sheriff’s Office, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, and the Parks Department.
Even prior to the requirement, some indoor establishments in NYC had required proof of vaccination to enter. The latest rule is part of the city’s effort to vaccinate more people and thereby safely reopen the crowded city without sparking outbreaks of illness. Monday also marked the first day of the school year for public schools and the return to work for many city employees.
According to official reports, the average daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases and positive test results have declined in New York City after a surge in late August. Daily hospitalizations have also declined and are a fraction of the earlier surges last spring and last winter.
However, the potential for dangerous outbreaks among unvaccinated people continues to stay in place. As of now, over 79% of NYC adult residents have had at least one dose, including 86% of adults in Manhattan and Queens but 73% in Brooklyn, as per city records.