New York City will mandate vaccine passports to enter many indoor businesses, such as restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced.
Known as the “Key to NYC Pass,” this mandate will prevent unvaccinated citizens from living normal lives in the city. “It’s time for people to see vaccination as necessary to living a good and full and healthy life,” de Blasio said during a press briefing.
“This is crucial, because we know that this will encourage a lot more vaccination.”
According to the New York Post, the vaccine mandate will launch on August 16 in hopes of increasing the number of vaccinated individuals in the city.
The decision, it’s hoped, will blunt an uptick in NYC COVID-19 cases due to the more contagious Delta variant.
“It will require vaccination for workers and customers in indoor dining, in indoor fitness facilities, indoor entertainment facilities,” de Blasio said from City Hall.
“The only way to patronize these businesses indoors is if you’re vaccinated. If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” the mayor said.
Enforcement of this mandate will begin on September 13, following a public service announcement. It is unclear exactly how it will be enforced, however.
It is not yet confirmed if unvaccinated children younger than 12 will be able to dine indoors with their vaccinated parents.
Additionally, de Blasio is debating expanding the vaccine requirement to shopping, which could prevent unvaccinated individuals from purchasing food in grocery stores.
Many believe that vaccine mandates are a government overreach, while other believe they are necessary to save lives.
Already, New York City citizens are protesting a citywide vaccine mandate.
On the other side, some believe that these vaccine mandates should be expanded on.
New York City council member Mark Levine, for instance, believes that teachers should be forced to vaccinate if they want to keep their jobs.
New York is the first major U.S. city to enact vaccine passports.