NYC will require restaurant, theater & fitness patrons to show proof of vaccination

L.E.A.F Festival of Flowers
Last fall, I covered a story about boutique gyms struggling to stay in business during the pandemic. Many were changing their business models to focus on remote classes and personal training. Smaller New York City-based gyms were particularly upset by local laws that would allow larger facilities to open, but that placed what they claimed were undue burdens on them. New York City was hit hard early and officials are just trying to keep people safe. They are about to become the first major city in the US to require indoor facilities, including restaurants, gyms and movie theaters, to require customers to show proof of vaccination before entry. We’ve heard that Broadway will have similar requirements, which I guess will be superseded by whatever regulations go into effect later this month. Mayor de Blasio made the announcement yesterday and said they will talk to the business community in the interim. Enforcement of the laws is expected by mid-September.

On Tuesday, N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will require proof of vaccination to gain access to an array of indoor spots, including restaurants, fitness centers and entertainment facilities, becoming the first major city in the United States to do so.

The move, which is intended to put pressure on people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, will affect both workers and customers who will have to prove that they have received at least one vaccine dose, according to The Washington Post. The new requirements take effect on Aug. 16.

“It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life,” de Blasio, 60, said during news conference, per The New York Times. “Not everyone is going to agree with this; I understand that.”

“But for so many people, this is going to be a lifesaving act, that we are putting a mandate in place that is going to guarantee a much higher level of vaccination in this city,” he added. “And that is the key to protecting people, and the key to our recovery.”

About 60% of New York City residents have received at least one vaccine dose, while over 10 million doses have been administered in the city as of Monday, as well, data shows.

According to the Times, de Blasio had been “reluctant” to move forward with an indoor mask mandate once more and instead wants to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated. “If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” he said. “It’s time…”

“The goal here is to convince everyone that this is the time,” de Blasio said. “If we’re going to stop the delta variant, the time is now.”

As part of the new ruling, N.Y.C. will also craft a health pass — deemed the “Key to N.Y.C. Pass” — which will provide proof of vaccination status that will be required of workers and other individuals, the Times reported.

[From People]

I know laws in the US are largely state-based, but I wish this would go into effect nation wide. Italy and France implemented similar health passes and of course people bitched about it but vaccination rates increased. In Germany they’re requiring vaccinations for specific activities depending on local regulations. My ex lives in Berlin and had to show proof of vaccination to go to the movies. Limiting access to indoor facilities may be the only way we get some of these holdouts to get vaccinated. Make it mandatory for most jobs and for any indoor activities. Plus it will bring more business to these places. A lot of people who are staying home now due to the variants might go out again if it’s safer. Plus, and this is most important, less people will get sick and die. Kids under 12 can’t even get vaccinated now and some are getting very sick from this.

Photos credit: Avalon.Red and Clay Leconey, Andy and Yoav Aziz on Unsplash

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32 Responses to “NYC will require restaurant, theater & fitness patrons to show proof of vaccination”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    I’m all for it. I have ZERO patience with people’s excuses for not getting it these days. With the exception of it being a danger to one’s health, I don’t give a flying fuck about their reasons for not getting it. If you don’t get it, you should suffer the consequences.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I’m right there with you, Snuffles. I live in Quebec, there have been rumours for a week or two that the government here might do something similar to NYC, and I hope they do it. I am fed up with these people (I have a friend among them who I haven’t seen in person in months, and won’t see her unless she gets the shots) so maybe if they have to suffer some real-world consequences they’ll finally do the right thing.

      Not being able to get it is one thing – you’re too young, have a medical reason – but otherwise STFU and roll up your damned sleeve.

  2. Steph says:

    We are supposed to be using an app called excelsior. For whatever reason, it’s not accepting my info. While, I agree this mandate could save lives, who is supposed to enforce this? You’ve all seen the videos of ppl going absolutely crazy over having to wear a mask. Asking staff to take them on is not it.

    • Darla says:

      Steph, maybe you used a different phone number? I put in my old zip code the first time, and it rejected it. Try and see if you have anything you put in differently. I hope you get it.

      Enforcement is a good question, I expect some will end up in jail after picking fights with employees trying to enforce. I hope they do time. If we would exact a real price, this isht would stop fast.

      • Steph says:

        Thanks! Nothing has changed since March so I’m going to the Duane Reade I got it at to see if they can help

    • Gold ladder says:

      Use whatever info you gave when you got your vaccination. If you used a different phone, that may be what’s causing problems.

    • NYC_Girl says:

      I got the vaccine Feb/March with a medical co that had some pop-ups here in NYC – wasn’t a NYC-run site like Javitz. I had to contact them to confirm my immunization info was submitted (to Dept of Health?) because I could not get logged in to the Excelsior app. Maybe that caused a glitch for you too? I also laminated my card 👍🏼

  3. Darla says:

    Yes! I signed up for the Excelsior pass yesterday, and I can’t tell you how easy it is. If you live in NYS do it, they already have you in their system if you were vaccinated in state. Then you scan your pass onto your phone, viola! Your vaccine passport. And I want it nationwide. Squeeze these stupid, selfish horrible people until they squeak! The burden needs to fall on them, not on us! We did everything right and they are stealing our freedom while whining about theirs! Because they only know projection. Ignore their squealing and keep squeezing! They go nowhere until they’re vaxxed.

    • LillyfromLillooet says:

      samesies! My vaccination dates were in the system and it’s now on my phone. NYC health officials are out on the streets offering $100 to passers by to get vaxxed and yet still…DeBlasio has been firm that he’s not interested in new mask mandates or any more lockdowns. I agree.

      • Kkat says:

        I don’t understand about no masks, us fully vaccinated can still get it and spread it.
        Because of the viral load with Delta it’s as contagious as regular covid for the fully vaxxed
        And as contagious as chicken pox for the unvaxxed.

        Here in California we’re back to masks indoors for everyone, including fully vaxxed.

  4. Eleonor says:

    Italian in France: yes we have this thing here.
    I have heard a lot of people complaining about this.
    Not all of them are “antivax” but some are more “yes I will get my vaccine at some point” or “the governement cannot force me ! ” , my “favourites” are those who complains “buh-uhh I cannot go to concerts/theaters” . My reaction is always a massive eyeroll and “FFS where the hell have you been for the last 15 months ?” .
    I am fully vaccinated, I still wear my mask, and I feel bad only for those who are dying, and the health workers.

  5. kimmy says:

    I am so for this. Unfortunately, we live in Indiana (granted a mostly blue part of Indiana) and none of this will happen here. It will fall to the businesses to enforce masks. I predict an ugly next few months…..

  6. lucy2 says:

    Good. The other patrons and all of the employees deserve to be in a safe environment.

  7. JanetDR says:

    What a hubbub there was on my (western NY) Facebook about this yesterday! It was kind of funny to read all of these comments about how NYC won’t get their tourist dollars now, and most of them have never been. Oh! And this is how Nazi’s started!
    It’s weird how the same people who want to be all up in our personal sex lives, birth control, etc are offended by government and municipalities wanting a little control over a pandemic.
    And the pass is easy to get – I just redid mine because originally it was just good for 6 months.

    • Aang says:

      Not ready the WNY comments on FB is definitely self care. Most of those yahoos rarely set foot in the city of Buffalo let alone NYC.

  8. OriginalLala says:

    I hope my city in Canada does the same thing frankly! Our vaccination rates are high but have plateaued and that scares me. Most of my younger cousins (in their 20s) have not been vaxxed yet because they feel invinsible, ugh.

  9. Becks1 says:

    I’m all for this. I was seeing some comments about how this is going to hurt businesses, because the unvaccinated will stay home – but I think its going to be good for businesses. I would be much more comfortable going into a crowded indoor setting (like a Broadway play, or a smaller gym, or a smaller restaurant) if I know that everyone else is vaccinated. And if I work there? I’m going to feel SO much more comfortable.

    How does it work for tourists? do I just show my vaccine card? if that’s “it” then it may help boost tourism as people will feel more comfortable going somewhere like NYC as opposed to some place like Florida.

    • lanne says:

      the unvaccinated staying home is precisely the point! Better to lose the 10 dollars they would pay for a hamburger than paying their 200,000 medical bill when they have to go to the ICU with covid!

  10. LittlePenguin says:

    I wish we had an app, a card. ANYTHING. I live in Alberta which is run by a small man who would unplug your ventilator to charge his cell phone. As of Aug 16 we have no tracing, testing or isolation. Want to see how bad it can get, come and watch Alberta! Schools go back at the start of September. We have a bunch of people running around talking about ‘ma freedums!’ who aren’t getting vaxxed because to quote one moron “First it’s the mask, then it’s the injection, then they’re gonna take your kidney, and then it’s euthanasia.”

    • Darla says:

      Alberta CANADA? My god. I’m sorry.

      WHY are these people everywhere? I can’t take it.

      • LittlePenguin says:

        Yes. Our premier ran on a platform similar to Trump’s playbook and got the voters out. He’s gonna burn us to the ground.
        Since “Covid is Over on Aug 16” was announced last week the sane people have been holding safe/masked protests, writing/calling elected officials and trying not cry. (Maybe that last one is just myself and my friends)

    • Tigerlily says:

      Little Penguin I am an Albertan too and feel your pain. I have RA and despite being double vaccinated I may not have full benefit of vaccines. I am lucky in that I am retired and have a pension so I can isolate if need be. However my nephew who lives in same small town as husband and I, he’s needed help with child care. His three children’s mother passed away 4 months ago. His mom has moved to help out but I have been taking the kids a day or so a week to give her a break. Two oldest (6 and 4) start school in September and frankly I am scared. The ‘little man’ you speak of, our premier Jason ‘Squiggy’ Kenney…..I hate him and his crew with a passion.

  11. Kat says:

    If they want to mandate this nation wide, fine. Although there are many who refuse to take it who have other health issues and I don’t blame them. Or forcing children to take it. But I never want to hear the argument of “my body, my choice” ever again.

    • Darla says:

      Oh that’s too bad, tell what you want in one hand, shit in the other and let me know which one gets filled first.

  12. Cat C says:

    No shirt, no shoes, no service. I’m cool with showing proof.

  13. AmyB says:

    So happy to see NYC making this mandate!! Hopefully other states will follow.

    I literally could care less about who is going to bitch about this!! Other than those who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons – sorry, your anti-vaxx choice comes with consequences. Deal with it. Same as if you got into a car intoxicated, and decided to drive drunk. There would be consequences to that b/c you could KILL OTHER PEOPLE!!

    We have been living with this for some 18 months now. I just saw a report today that the Delta variant now accounts for an estimated 93% of the coronavirus cases in the U.S. And the majority of that is from unvaccinated populations. We have to do something – no one wants a lockdown like we had last year!

  14. faithmobile says:

    People seem to forget that if you want your child enrolled in public school in California, we have a vaccine mandate. So there is an established precedent for a mandate already. I trust there are more people who would spend money on indoor entertainment if they felt safer. We can no longer be held hostage to American idiocy.

    • goofpuff says:

      I know! There are vaccine mandates for schools and for many jobs. And THIS one because some orange asshat made it political to fatten up his own bank account is problematic?

  15. Ksweet says:

    First, I’m all in favor of anything we can do to get people vaccinated and stop this pandemic! We are supposed to travel to NYC with our ten year old grandchild. We are both vaccinated but she isn’t and likely won’t be by then. I’ve heard maybe a negative test will suffice? But I can’t imagine trying to get into our shows with them checking everyone’s vaccination records…seems like that would take forever!

    • J says:

      I also wonder what the story is for the under-12 crowd. My husband, 13-yr old, and I are all vaxxed, but my 10-yr old obviously cannot be yet. Not that we have any plans to go to NYC, just wondering if this idea gains traction elsewhere. We live in Chicago, and do have some theater tickets for January. Hopefully the 10-yr old will be able to be vaxxed by then.

  16. Whitecat says:

    Just want to correct you, Germany is not requiring proof of vaccinations to do certain activities like going to the movies. I live in berlin and what you need is either proof of vaccine, recovery or a negative test the same day.

    I’m currently waiting on my second dose so for me to sit inside restaurants or go to the movies, I need a negative test.

  17. Brea Pond says:

    At this point I don’t care what the fuck they have to do to get this shit under control just do it. The Delta variant is bad enough but there is a worse one out there and if we don’t get a handle on it now when that new variant arrives and trust and believe it will arrive I’m afraid even the vaccinated won’t be protected.