Get your COVID vaccination proof ready, NYC: Key to NYC enforcement begins


FILE – In this undated photo, provided by NY Governor’s Press Office on Saturday March 27, 2021, is the new “Excelsior Pass” app, a digital pass that people can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccine passports being developed to verify COVID-19 immunization status and allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine have become the latest flash point in America’s perpetual political wars, with Republicans portraying them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices. (NY Governor’s Press Office via AP, File)

NEW YORK  (NewsNation Now) — Enforcement of the city’s Key to NYC vaccine requirement for all workers and patrons of New York businesses begins Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said civilian inspectors from 13 city agencies will help enforce the law, which requires proof of vaccination at restaurants, clubs and bars, fitness centers, gyms, pools, movie theaters, concert venues, museums and aquariums, sports arenas and more.

“Inspectors will come out, make sure the check-in procedure’s going right with the ID and the vaccination proof, making sure the business has posters up or other notices up,” de Blasio said last week.

De Blasio announced the move in August as part of the city’s initiative to get as many residents vaccinated as possible. The new requirement applies to indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues. The policy has been slowly phased out since August.

“This is crucial because we know it will encourage a lot more vaccinations,” de Blasio said last motnh. “If we’re going to stop the delta variant, the time is now.”

To gain entry to these establishments, New Yorkers ages 12 and up will have to either present their paper COVID-19 vaccination card, the state-run Excelsior Pass or the city’s vaccine passport app.

“We’re going to make sure everyone’s safe, that’s the key because it’s what will give people confidence,” de Blasio said. “It’ll give them confidence in each business they go to, confidence in the comeback of New York City. It’s going to help us overcome COVID once and for all.”

The enforcement of the Key to NYC comes as nearly all of the city’s 300,000 employees will be required to be back in their workplaces, in person, Monday as the city ends remote work. Most will either need to be vaccinated, or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing to remain in their jobs.

More than 60% of all New York City residents are fully vaccinated according to official city data. To date, 53.8% of the U.S. total population is fully vaccianted, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WPIX contributed to this report.

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