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New York City to require vaccination proof for indoor dining, gyms

Security personnel ask customers for proof of vaccination as they enter City Winery, June 24, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Security personnel ask customers for proof of vaccination as they enter City Winery, June 24, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

NEW YORK — New York City will soon require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone who wants to dine indoors at a restaurant, see a performance or go to the gym, Mayor Bill de Blasio announces today, making it the first big city in the US to impose such restrictions.

The new requirement, which will be phased in over several weeks in August and September, is the most aggressive step the city has taken yet to curb a surge in cases caused by the Delta variant. People will have to show proof that they have had at least one dose of a vaccine.

“The only way to patronize these establishments indoors will be if you’re vaccinated,” de Blasio says. “The goal here is to convince everyone that this is the time. If we’re going to stop the Delta variant, the time is now. And that means getting vaccinated right now.”

The Democrat says some details of how the program will work still need to be worked out. The policy will go into effect on August 16 but inspections and enforcement won’t begin until September 13, the week that the city’s public schools reopen for the fall.

De Blasio has focused on getting as many New Yorkers vaccinated as possible while resisting calls to mandate masks indoors, as several cities and counties in California have done.

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