Soon You’ll Need to Show Proof of Vaccination to Enjoy Indoor Dining in NYC

Confirmation of a single dose of a vaccine will be required starting on September 13.

Photo courtesy of Casa Limone

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its highly contagious Delta variant, this morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new New York City program that will soon require employees and customers of three local industries offering indoor experiences to have at least one dose of an approved COVID vaccine.

Named the Key to NYC Pass, the program will focus on indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment and performances. Over the next few weeks, the city will conduct research for the initiative and share the plan’s final details on August 16, with enforcement of the mandate beginning on September 13, the first full week after Labor Day.

“If you want to participate in our society fully… you’ve got to get vaccinated—it’s time,” said de Blasio.

As the first program of its kind in the country, de Blasio’s announcement comes less than two months after NYC fully reopened and lifted all COVID-19 related restrictions on June 15. To date, while over 60% of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, because of Delta and those who are not vaccinated, the percentage of locals testing positive continues to rise. As of last Friday, the Mayor has also tried to entice vaccine-hesitant New Yorkers to get vaccinated through a $100 incentive, which according to de Blasio, resulted in over 11,000 people receiving a single dose in the subsequent four days.

From outdoor dining and to-go cocktails, the food and restaurant industry has often played a key role when it comes to pilot regulations implemented throughout the pandemic. Because of this, at the press conference, the Mayor also praised and thanked the restaurateur Danny Meyer, calling him a “great NYC entrepreneur” for his recent announcement that all staff and indoor dining guests of Union Square Hospitality Group will require proof of vaccination.

When it comes to the Key to NYC Pass, de Blasio notes that a person’s vaccination is “the key.” That means for those who aren’t employees of restaurants, gyms, and performance centers, aside from showing proof of vaccination through a vaccination card, the NYC Covid Safe app, or Excelsior Pass, to partake in indoor activities, no action is required.

“Just show it and you’re in,” said de Blasio.

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Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.