Mayor de Blasio Announces Key To NYC Vaccination Mandate Will Begin Tomorrow

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the Key to NYC vaccination mandate for indoor dining, entertainment and fitness will start tomorrow, August 17, 2021.

Enforcement will begin, with a multi-agency coalition, on September 13. Read the Executive Order here.

“New York City has one mission: defeat the delta variant and build a recovery for all of us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The Key to NYC sends a powerful message that vaccination will unlock our city’s potential, and we’ll stop at nothing to save lives and keep New Yorkers safe.”



“The Key to NYC will unlock many of our favorite activities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Vaccination makes every activity safer and this is a common-sense precaution to keep patrons of gyms, restaurants and indoor entertainment healthy.”

The City will conduct an aggressive outreach and education campaign, including a $10 million multi-platform paid media campaign. This campaign will include radio, TV, digital, social, subway live boards. Approximately 600 canvassers will be going door to door for affected businesses with the goal of reaching every zip code in the city in the next three weeks.

Key to NYC affected businesses include:

Indoor entertainment

  • Movie theaters
  • Music and concert venues
  • Museums & galleries
  • Aquariums & zoos
  • Professional sports arenas
  • Indoor stadiums
  • Convention centers
  • Exhibition halls
  • Performing arts theaters
  • Bowling alleys
  • Arcades
  • Pool & billiard halls
  • Recreational game centers
  • Adult entertainment
  • Indoor play areas

Indoor dining

  • Restaurants
  • Catering halls
  • Hotel banquet rooms
  • Bars
  • Nightclubs
  • Cafeterias
  • Grocery stores with indoor dining
  • Coffee shops
  • Fast food/quick service with indoor dining

Indoor fitness

  • Gyms
  • Fitness centers
  • Fitness classes
  • Pools
  • Indoor studios
  • Dance studios

Places excluded from this mandate include:

  • Dining where food is consumed offsite/outdoors only (e.g., fast food/quick service with no indoor dining). Note: businesses that choose to remove indoor seating entirely are not subject to the mandate
  • Residential buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Childcare programs
  • Pre-K through grade 12 public and non-public schools and programs
  • Senior centers
  • Churches hosting Sunday potlucks or similar events
  • Community centers
  • Charitable food services
  • Catering at someone’s home

People excluded from this mandate include:

  • Children under the age of 12.
  • Anyone entering for a minimum amount of time required for a limited purpose (e.g., bathroom use, picking up or placing an order, showing proof of vaccination).
  • Performing artists who do not reside in NYC and are not regularly employed by the entity; professional athletes/members of professional sports teams who do not reside in NYC but enter a premises for the purpose of competing; and individuals accompanying performing artists or a sports team/professional athlete as part of their regular employment and who do not reside in NYC.
  • Contractors who do not reside in NYC.

Each Key to NYC business should consider appropriate reasonable accommodations, mindful of the purposes behind this policy and public health.

There are multiple ways to show proof of vaccination:

  • A photo or hard copy of their CDC vaccination card
  • NYC COVID Safe App
  • New York State Excelsior App
  • Official vaccine record
  • A photo or hard copy of an official vaccination record of a vaccine administered outside the United States for one of the following vaccines: AstraZeneca/SK Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD and Vaxzevria, Sinopharm, or Sinovac.

Affected small businesses with questions can call the NYC Department of Small Business Services hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692), 311, or go online to nyc.gov/keytonyc.

Penalties for failure to comply after September 13, 2021 start at $1,000 and can reach $5,000 for repeated violators.

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