We don’t want to bury the lede here, but if you want to participate in society in NYC, you’re going to need to be vaccinated. New York, per usual, takes the lead in the US, and it’s a hard line. Over the next few weeks, bars, restaurants and gyms will require proof of vaccination to enter. Yes, that means to eat the penne a la vodka at Carbone, you’ll need the shot. It’s all getting worked out and news is forthcoming, but here’s what we know now. Here is your first snapshot at the new NYC vaccine requirements.
The “Key to New York” Pass
Starting August 16, only vaccinated people will be allowed indoors. These new NYC vaccine requirements hold for dining, the gym, and indoor entertainment and performances. So basically everywhere.
The new NYC vaccine requirements are an attempt to protect against the Delta variant, which is an increasing presence among the unvaccinated. Though vaccines do not protect against the spread of the virus, Dr. Fauci remains confident that they will protect against contracting a life-threatening case of the illness. So no matter how you look at it, the vaccine looks like the best way to save your life.
In addition to the proof of vaccine requirement from patrons, all employees of venues will be required to be vaccinated. And all NYC government employees will need to be vaxxed, as there will be no testing option for the unvaccinated.
The good news is, you don’t have to worry about carrying that paper proof of vaccine wherever you go. You can provide your vaccine status using the Excelsior Pass, New York State’s Covid safety app (available on Android and iOS). Also, anyone 12–17 is eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, so older kids can join you indoors at restaurants.
With the amount of people and businesses in NYC, the city is and always has been a leader in public policy. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can be pretty sure the vaccine mandates are a taste of what’s to come for many other places around the country. Although adjusting to rapidly changing policies can be challenging, getting vaxxed is a small price to pay to keep city life (and residents) alive and well. Of course, you have the prerogative not to get the vaccine, but don’t expect to participate in society.
Keep an eye out on August 16 when this NYC policy will go into full effect.