NYC Is First in the Nation To Require Proof of Vaccine for Most Indoor Activities — How Will It Affect Businesses?

Vintage toned portrait of a young redhead New Yorker woman, walking on a nice and sunny spring day through the streets of West Village, in Lower Manhattan area.
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New York City will require proof of vaccination for most indoor activities, including indoor dining, working out at the gym or seeing a performance, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. This move will be a first for a major U.S. city.

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The city is taking action against the recent surge in cases caused by the new Delta variant of COVID-19. The policy — called the “Key to NYC Pass” — will go into effect on Aug. 16, but inspections and enforcement won’t begin until Sept. 13, ABC News reported. People will be required to show proof of at least one vaccine dose.

During a Tuesday news conference, President Joe Biden showed support for New York City’s new mandate, ABC News reported, and said other cities need to give “the authority to those restaurants or businesses to say: ‘In order to come in, you have to give proof that you’re either vaccinated or you can’t come in.'”

While many are applauding de Blasio’s decision, concerns have been raised as to how this move could financially impact affected businesses. Losses to business activity were felt across nearly all industries amid the onset of the pandemic, and some are still struggling to recover.

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“Mandating vaccine requirements for restaurant and bar employees and customers to work and dine indoors is a very difficult step, but ultimately may prove an essential move to protecting public health and ensuring that New York City does not revert to restrictions and shut down orders that would again absolutely devastate small businesses that have not yet recovered from the pandemic,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, in response to the mayor’s announcement and as reported by ABC7 New York.

Rigie noted that the requirement “will pose economic and operational challenges, particularly in communities with lower vaccination rates and hesitancy,” but will also “alleviate the burden that restaurants and bars face when implementing this policy voluntarily.”

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Last updated: August 4, 2021

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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