By Tyler Durden
At long last, New Yorkers and tourists visiting the Big Apple will soon be able to enter stores, restaurants, bars and other venues without needing to show proof of vaccination status.
That’s right: Mayor Eric Adams is finally lifting his city’s requirement for patrons to be vaccinated, one of the most restrictive such laws in the country. It was first implemented by his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, last year. However, he clarified Monday that there are no plans to remove requirements that workers be vaccinated.
Mayor Adams clarified that the requirement would be lifted on March 7 so long as COVID cases continue to trend downward.
NYC’s indoor mask requirement for all public schools will be lifted on the same day (again, provided no unexpected spikes in infections arise).
Adams noted that more than a million students would return to public schools Monday after their February break. According to the mayor, if students can intermix this week without creating any “unforeseen spikes” in infections, then that would essentially confirm that the mask mandates are no longer necessary.
“New York City’s numbers continue to go down day after day, so, as long as COVID indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week, on Monday, March 7 we will also lift Key2NYC requirements,” Adams announced. “This will give business owners the time to adapt and will allow us to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York.”
Circling back the vaccine passport rule, which was first adopted in the late summer of 2021, it’s worth noting that it hasn’t always been enforced. But it does still technically apply to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, fast food eateries, indoor fitness locations, movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums, sports arenas and stadiums, theaters and billiard halls, among other places.
Adams, who is seen as far more business-friendly than his predecessor, Mayor de Blasio, had hinted that he was eagerly awaiting the end of the vaccine passport rule during an economic development press briefing on Wednesday. Adams said at the time that he meets daily with health experts, who have provided structure and benchmarks the city should meet before it returns to pre-pandemic normalcy.
“We can’t close down again, and I’m not going to do something at my anticipation to get back that’s going to jeopardize closing down the city again,” Adams said. “Our economy can’t handle it. We don’t have another $11 billion to put back in the economy. We must do it the smart way.”
Adams decision follows a move by Gov. Kathy Hochul to ditch the Empire State’s mask mandate (for everywhere but schools), although Hochul said over the weekend that the statewide mandate for schools would be ending on Wednesday.
The city fired more than 1,400 municipal workers over their refusal to abide by the vaccine mandate, which was extremely controversial in parts of the city like South Brooklyn and Staten Island.
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