New York City and vaccine mandates: What visitors need to know



(CNN) — New York City’s newly announced vaccine mandate for certain indoor activities raises questions for visitors about meeting the new requirements.

The Key to NYC pass, announced Tuesday by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, will require vaccination for workers and customers for indoor dining, indoor fitness facilities and indoor entertainment facilities such as performance spaces and movie theaters.

“The only way to patronize these establishments indoors will be if you’re vaccinated,” de Blasio said Tuesday as he announced the program.

The city will be “sketching out all the details” over the next two weeks, the mayor said during a media briefing on Wednesday.

Final details of the policy will be announced and implemented in the week of August 16, and inspections and enforcement are slated to begin the week of September 13.

While all the implications of the vaccine mandates aren’t clear, here’s what we know so far about how they will affect visitors:

How do I show proof of vaccination?

The mayor said vaccination status can be communicated in three ways:

1. Through showing a vaccination card, such as the ones issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. Presenting that information through the NYC COVID Safe app.

3. Through the state’s Excelsior Pass (which works for people vaccinated in New York state).

How will international visitors prove their vaccination status?

“Vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) are acceptable, and visitors can show their vaccine record from the place where it was administered,” Laura Feyer, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, said via email.

The information from those vaccination cards can also be entered into the NYC COVID Safe App, Feyer said.

WHO has listed the Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK Bio, Serum Institute of India, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines for emergency use.

Travel to the United States from Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom is not currently permitted. Exemptions are available for US citizens, family members or permanent residents.

Do I have to be fully vaccinated?

Just one dose is required for entry, de Blasio said Tuesday.

He reiterated on Wednesday that “even the first dose gets you in the game.”

Can kids younger than 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination enter these indoor spaces?

“Of course,” de Blasio said during a media briefing Wednesday. “We want families to be together. The smart thing to do — keep masks on your kids, except for when they’re eating and drinking obviously.”

Where will unvaccinated visitors eat their meals?

“Outdoor dining,” Feyer said, noting that the city is still working on the specifics of the vaccine mandates.

Top image: Manhattan skyline. Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images



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