NEW YORK — Private-sector workers will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and teens and adults will need two vaccine doses to dine indoors under new mandates that take effect in New York City on Monday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this month said employees of private businesses would need to submit proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by Monday, Dec. 27. As part of the mandate, employers will have to keep full records of their workers’ vaccination statuses. Businesses that do not comply face fines starting at $1,000.
"We put this mandate into action as omicron was coming, but we had no idea it would be quite this intense," the mayor said at a news conference on Monday. "But we knew with omicron coming, with cold weather, it was time to do more and thank God we did because these mandates have been absolutely necessary to keep this city going."
What You Need To Know
- Two new COVID-19 vaccine mandates go into effect in New York City this week
- One mandate requires private-sector workers to submit proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by Monday
- The other mandate requires people ages 12 and up to show proof of two COVID-19 vaccine doses to dine indoors and enter gyms and indoor entertainment venues starting Monday, unless they have received the J&J vaccine
- The new rules mark an expansion of de Blasio's "Key to NYC" program
The mayor also said New Yorkers ages 12 and up would be required to show proof of two COVID-19 vaccine doses to dine indoors and enter gyms and indoor entertainment venues beginning Monday, unless they have received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The new rules mark an expansion of de Blasio’s “Key to NYC” program.
“New York City will not give a single inch in the fight against COVID-19,” he said in a statement on Dec. 6, the day he announced the new guidelines. “Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold, first-in-the-nation measures to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe.”
The private sector mandate will apply to approximately 184,000 businesses, the mayor noted in a release.
He also said that he anticipates penalties for non-compliance will be rare and only issued in cases where businesses flat-out refuse to cooperate with the mandate.
"Our inspectors will be out there energetically, but with the goal - educate and correct - ideally avoid penalties," he said.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who takes office on Jan. 1, has said he is evaluating the mandate for private-sector employees, but has not yet said whether his administration will keep it in place.
An Adams spokesperson told NY1 the mayor-elect is expected to release his plans on how to handle the new COVID-19 surge this week.
Adams spent the weekend with public health experts and is expected to determine whether he will keep the new business mandate within days. Also up for discussion is whether boosters should be required for any of the city’s current coronavirus regulations.
Adams is also expected this week to detail his plans for reopening schools in January as concerns grow about the spread of the virus in city classrooms.