New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday people engaged in indoor activities including fitness clubs, bars and restaurants will be required to be vaccinated, beginning later this month, the first major city in the United States to make such a requirement.
At a news conference, De Blasio said the city will create a Key to NYC Pass, available by providing proof of vaccination. The new policy will be phased in over few weeks, during which time the city will coordinate with the business community and educate the community on the process, with the final details to be announced and implemented the week of August 16.
The new rule will require all workers as well as patrons of businesses to be vaccinated.
De Blasio has focused on getting as many New Yorkers vaccinated as possible while resisting calls to mandate masks indoors, as several cities and counties in California have done.
De Blasio also said Monday he was making "a strong recommendation" that everyone wear a mask in public indoor settings but stressed that the city's "overwhelming strategic thrust" remained getting more people vaccinated.
Official data indicate about 66% of adults in New York City are fully vaccinated.
The announcement comes a day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a mandate requiring all frontline workers in state hospitals get vaccinated or find new positions off the front line.