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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently shared that the city will be implementing a new program to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its Delta variant.

Beginning on August 16, employees and customers alike will need to show proof of vaccination before working at or attending indoor fitness establishments (gyms, yoga studios, boxing studios, etc…), indoor dining establishments (bars, restaurants, etc..) and indoor entertainment establishments (movie theaters, comedy clubs, musicals, etc…).

Notably, those who dine outdoors won’t need to meet the requirement while attending NYC’s restaurants and bars.

The mandate, known as the “Key to NYC Pass,” will be “enforced” on September 18.

ABC7NY reports that the crackdown after the mandate’s official start date will be issued in order to “coincide with the return of children to schools.”

The outlet went onto share that “there will be no option to display a negative [COVID-19] test” as a substitute for being vaccinated and having a vaccination card.

“So today I announce a new approach, which we are calling the ‘Key to NYC Pass,'” de Blasio said via the local news source. “‘The key to NYC.’ When you hear those words, I want you to imagine the notion that because someone is vaccinated they can do all the amazing things available in New York City.”

de Blasio continued:

This is a miraculous place literally full of wonders. If you are vaccinated all that is going to open up to you, you have the key, you can open the door. If you are unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things. That’s the point we are trying to get across.”

“Not everyone is going to agree with this, I understand that,” de Blasio added. “But for some people, this is going to be the life-saving act. We are putting a mandate in place. It will guarantee a much high[er] level of vaccination in this city. That is the key to protecting people and the key to our recovery. That’s why it’s the key to NYC. The ‘Key to NYC Pass’ opens a lot of doors and we need it.”

ABC7NY went onto highlight that cases of COVID’s Delta variant are “on [the] rise across the Tri-State region,” — and that “many businesses” have already made being vaccinated a requirement for their employees.

According to The New York Times, “patrons must use the city’s new app, the state’s Excelsior app, or a paper card to show proof of vaccination.”

It’s currently unclear how the city will plan to verify vaccinations like AstraZeneca or Sinovac, which might be more “common among international tourists.”

Children under 12 won’t be subjected to the new “Key to NYC Pass” rules since they’re ineligible to be vaccinated.

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