A new government mandate will require all visitors to museums, art fairs, and galleries in New York City to provide proof of the coronavirus vaccination. The regulations go into effect on August 16, and will be enforced beginning on September 13. The city is among the first in the United States to undertake such a measure.
The provision comes as part of a new initiative dubbed Key to NYC Pass, which was announced by New York mayor Bill de Blasio on August 3. The rule requires staff members and attendees to public facilities such as entertainment venues and fitness centers to show proof of vaccination. Non-compliance fines start at $1,000.
“It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good, full and healthy life,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference, emphasizing that the vaccine is critical for the public to access various institutions and cultural events around the city.
The new rule is the city’s latest effort to combat the spread of the Delta variant and to incentivize more people to become vaccinated. “We know that this is what is going to turn the tide,” De Blasio said in his address.
The new policy is being established under a mayoral executive order and a health commissioner’s order, which is scheduled to be signed today. Patrons will be able to confirm their vaccinated status via their card, the NYC COVID Safe app, or the state’s Excelsior app.
New York’s vaccine mandate for indoor recreation is the first of its kind in the country. In the U.S., other cities have followed suit. San Francisco and New Orleans will require vaccination for patrons of indoor activities in the dining, fitness, and entertainment sectors starting on August 20 and 23, respectively.
Similar provisions have been established abroad. Known as the “green pass” in Italy and the “health pass” in France, those initiatives have drawn protests in the past weeks from members of the public opposed to vaccine mandates.