New York will have a health pass for vaccination in restaurants, gyms, and other closed spaces.
The "Key to NYC Pass" voucher is a new effort to boost the immunization campaign, as almost 30% of adults have not received any doses.
The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, announced on Tuesday the requirement of proof of vaccination to enter closed public spaces such as restaurants, gyms, and plays.
The measure seeks to increase the vaccination rate in the metropolis, with areas such as the Bronx and Brooklyn where the fully immunized population does not reach 50%.
"We know this is what is going to change the course," de Blasio said at a press conference.
The plan would begin in a few weeks, with a transition period, to take full effect in mid-September, when the school year begins, and more workers are expected to return to the Manhattan offices.
The initiative, called "Key to NYC Pass" and highlighted by De Blasio as the first in the country, is similar to the programs established in France and Italy that sparked strong protests against the government.
Previously, De Blasio had incentivized vaccination with a payment of $ 100 and signed a measure that requires the immunization of local government employees by mid-September or having to take weekly tests for COVID-19. But under the scheme of the new pass, it will not be enough to present a negative COVID test to access the closed spaces.
Although the mayor avoided imposing a mask requirement, he "strongly" urged that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors.
In a briefing Monday, the mayor said city health officials are "following a data and science-based strategy."
We thought we would focus more on vaccination to keep climbing the ladder, to meet the maximum vaccination requirements, and to recommend the use of masks to all New Yorkers regardless of vaccination status," he said. To do
Infection rates have increased across the country. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidelines recommending that even vaccinated people wear a mask indoors in areas of the US where the delta variant is causing increased infection.
Although Governor Andrew Cuomo said his executive power was limited, he urged private businesses, such as bars and restaurants, to adopt a policy of admitting only vaccinated people and said more hospitals should require workers to get vaccinated.
He said that if the number of cases continues to rise, the possibility of vaccinating nursing home workers and teachers should be considered.
With the increase in local numbers, demands for reactivating the mandate for wearing masks have gained momentum in New York. In New York State last week, an average of more than 2,400 people tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day, with 300 new cases reported daily at the end of June.
More than two dozen of the state's 62 counties reached the CDC's recommended threshold for masking the interior Monday.
"Our leaders are moving slowly because the shape of the Delta is nothing more than that," said Jumaane D. Williams, the city's public defender, in a prepared statement criticizing two of his fellow Democrats. Waiting to see if cases escalate is tantamount to inviting them to do so. We now need an internal mask mandate. We needed it a week before the CDC issued its directive.
New York City already requires face-covering in public schools and on public transportation.