Today, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio announced details of the “Key to NYC Pass,” a plan to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before entering locations like fitness centers, restaurants, or entertainment venues. New Yorkers can meet those requirements by carrying their vaccination card or scanning and storing it in one of two authorized mobile apps. While some businesses and events have already begun to require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for entry by workers and customers, government-mandated “vaccine passports” have been a controversial topic.
The spread of the highly contagious Delta variant is being cited as a reason to increase restrictions without returning to a full lockdown or other measures. The program is scheduled to launch on August 13th, with enforcement slated to start on September 13th. It doesn’t introduce any new documentation; the name is a reference to it serving as a “key” to the city’s recovery.
Workers and patrons can confirm their vaccination status (at least one dose administered) in one of three ways:
- Vaccination card
- NYC COVID Safe exposure notification app (iOS, Android)
- NYS Excelsior Pass app
As Reuters mentions, NYC has already begun several other initiatives to get people vaccinated, including a mandate for city employees (or else face weekly testing) and a $100 incentive for the public. NYC data shows about 60 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine.