NEW YORK CITY – Residents, tourists, and visitors of The Big Apple will soon be required to present valid proof of their vaccination status against COVID-19 if they wish to partake of New York City’s fabled nightlife or head to the gym for a quick pump.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that New York City will be the first city in the United States to require people to have a vaccine passport – dubbed the “Key to NYC Pass” – detailing their COVID-19 inoculation history in order to have access to indoor restaurants, exercise facilities, movies, or stage shows.
Mayor de Blasio, at a press conference on Tuesday, noted that NYC is filled to the brim with exciting and wonderful things to partake in, but soon they will be exclusive to the vaccinated segment of the population only.
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“This is a miraculous place, literally filled with wonders,” he said. “If you’re vaccinated, that’s gonna open up to you, you can open the door. If you’re unvaccinated you will not be able to participate in many things. It’s time for people to see vaccination as necessary to living a good, full, and healthy life.”
The “Key to NYC Pass” will be officially launched on August 16; enforcement of the vaccine passport will not begin until September 13, giving stragglers and those on the fence time to get the jab if they choose to do so.
This announcement follows a separate vaccination incentive that NYC debuted last week, one that offers a $100 cash award for individuals who get inoculated against COVID-19; within four days, over 11,000 people responded and got their first shot.
Mayor de Blasio noted at the press conference that 5 million New York residents so far have at least received their first vaccine shot.
“We’re now at this point that we’ve dreamed of, and we’re going to go even farther with a smart mix of incentives and mandates,” he said. “We’re going to use every tool we’ve got to fight the delta variant and end the COVID era once and for all.”