New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that the city will be mandating proof of COVID-19 vaccination for various indoor businesses including restaurants, entertainment venues, and gyms. The move makes New York the first major U.S. city to implement such a policy.
“Today I announce a new approach, which we’re now calling the ‘Key To NYC Pass,'” de Blasio said. “When you hear those words, I want you to imagine the notion that because someone’s vaccinated they can do all the amazing things that are available in the city.”
“If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things. That’s the point we’re trying to get across. It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good, full, and healthy life,” he added.
BREAKING: NYC Mayor De Blasio announces vaccine mandate "Key to NYC Pass," requiring vaccination in order to participate in indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment and performances. pic.twitter.com/vsHEjwiLy6
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 3, 2021
The final details of the program are set to be finalized by the week of Aug. 16, with enforcement of the mandate set to begin on Sept. 15. NYC officials told the New York Post, “New Yorkers will be required to show either the state’ ‘Excelsior Pass,’ the city’s new vaccine pass or Center for Disease Control’s paper vaccine card, as proof of vaccination.”
“This approach is going to make clear that: You want to enjoy everything great in the summer of New York City?,” de Blasio said. “Go get vaccinated. It will do for you so many things. It will make your life better, it will make all of our lives better.”
The implementation of the mandate is set to disproportionately affect minorities, particularly black Americans. According to NYC Health, black Americans are the least vaccinated racial group in the city, with only 31 percent of eligible citizens fully vaccinated and 35 percent having received at least one dose.
Why is the city of New York discriminating against its black citizens with vaccine mandates? pic.twitter.com/kPZPePNIkJ
— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) August 3, 2021
Among whites, 46 percent are fully vaccinated and 48 percent have received one dose. Similarly among Hispanics, 42 percent are fully vaccinated, while 48 percent are partially vaccinated.
Asian Americans saw the highest level of vaccinations, with 71 percent fully vaccinated and 76 percent having received at least one dose.