New York City will implement new measures meant to head off the worsening coronavirus surge, including what its mayor says will be a “first-in-the-nation” vaccine mandate for all private-sector workers to take effect Dec. 27.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new requirements Monday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
The agressive new measures also require proof of vaccination with at least one dose for children ages 5-11 for entering in indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues. Proof of vaccination is already required for people 12 and older to enter those places in New York City.
De Blasio stressed that vaccination was the key to protecting against the virus, including for children.
“Don’t end up in a situation where a child is left unprotected. I urge parents really strongly, get that vaccination. It’s safe. It’s been proven. Here’s another incentive to do it,” de Blasio said.
The rules also bump up the vaccination level required to be in compliance with other city rules from one dose to two for adults receiving the two-shot mRNA Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
De Blasio called the moves a “preemptive strike” to stop the spread of coronavirus. The mayor said more information on the announcement is forthcoming from the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Dave A. Chokshi.
Driving the decision, de Blasio said, are concerns over winter weather causing more people to gather indoors where transmission is likely, holiday gatherings, and lingering unknowns about how transmissive and dangerous the omicron variant is.