New York City Will Require Vaccination Proof for Indoor Dining, Gyms, and Entertainment

vaccination stand in new york city

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Key Takeaways

  • New York City will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining, gyms, nightclubs, and performance venues starting on September 13.
  • The city has not reinstated its indoor mask mandate despite the new policy to require vaccination proof.
  • Around 68% of adults in New York City are fully vaccinated.

New York City will require proof of vaccinations for indoor activities including dining, fitness, entertainment and performances, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. 

The new requirement is the first-of-its-kind in the United States, according to the mayor. It may encourage more people to get vaccinated as the city prepares to reopen schools and offices amid a nationwide COVID-19 spike.

“If you want to participate in our society fully, you got to get vaccinated,” Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference on Tuesday. “The only reason we’re having a recovery is vaccination.”

The program, named the “Key to NYC Pass,” will launch in mid-August and enforcement will begin on September 13. The city will issue a mayoral executive order and a health commissioner's order for the mandate.

In response to outbreaks triggered by the Delta variant, Mayor de Blasio announced earlier this month that all city government employees must get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. He also offered a $100 incentive last week for New Yorkers to get vaccinated and said over 11,000 people have claimed their rewards so far. 

“The Delta variant is a very different kind of COVID than what people may remember or have experienced from 2020,” Andy Slavitt, former White House senior advisor for COVID response, said at the Tuesday conference.

“If you’re not vaccinated, only five minutes of exposure can infect you,” he added. 

What This Means For You

If you're a New York City resident, you will have to show your vaccination card or Excelsior app when you dine indoors, go to the gym, or see a performance starting on September 13.

While other metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. have reinstated indoor mask mandates over concerns of the Delta variant spread, New York City has not required people to wear masks indoors. 

Around 68% of adults in New York City are fully vaccinated, according to the city’s vaccine tracker.

New Yorkers participating in indoor activities can continue to use New York State's Excelsior app or bring their vaccination card. The city will also create a new app, which will also allow those vaccinated outside of the state to register their proof of vaccination.

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.

By Daphne Lee
Daphne K. Lee is a news editor at Verywell Health. She previously managed news for The News Lens.