New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all NYC employers will have to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for their in-person workers under new rules announced on Monday. The vaccine mandate for private businesses will take effect Dec. 27 and is aimed at preventing a spike in COVID-19 infections during the holiday season and winter months. The new guidance would be the most aggressive in the nation. Vaccinations are already required for city employees including teachers, police officers and firefighters, and a vaccination mandate for employees of private and religious schools was announced last week. Current New York City COVID-19 rules also include at least one vaccine dose for indoor restaurant dining, entertainment venues and fitness centers. Under new mandates for indoor dining, entertainment and gyms, two shots will be required for people over 12. One shot will be required for children aged 5 to 11, who are not covered by the current mandate.
de Blasio said that he expects the new mandate to survive any legal challenges. The mandate will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses in the city, which has a population of 8.8 million. Said de Blasio: “We are going to be working with businesses all over the city and that’s almost 200,000 businesses that are not already covered by the Key to NYC guidelines right now. We are going to be talking to them in the next days on how to put together the right plan to implement this. The specific guidance, the specific rules will come out Dec. 15.” He added: “We’ve been living with this now for most of two years. We got to put it behind us and vaccine mandates in my experience are the one thing that really breaks through. And we do know this, vaccines every single time, you know, every single time there’s a fear of the vaccine won’t have an impact on a new variant. Well, guess what? Every single time the vaccines have worked. That’s a good track record. Let’s lean into it even more.”
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