New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new COVID-19 mandates, including proof of vaccination, for those who want to dine or drink indoors, go to the gym, and other social events in New York City starting Tuesday.
Under the new rules, which will not be formally enforced until Sept. 13, the mayor said that anyone who wants to eat indoors or attend other indoor events will have to show proof of vaccination, either in the form of a paper vaccination record or a digital record that verifies vaccination status or negative test results.
He warned the city plans to take falsifying vaccination cards very seriously and warned violators could draw prison sentences of up to seven years.
“Don’t even think about falsifying vaccination records,” de Blasio warned.
“Vaccination allows you to enjoy all that’s good in life,” he said. He then said that the rules would actually encourage more people to go out to eat and drink.
“People prefer to go in an environment in which they can feel safer,” de Blasio said. He said unvaccinated people will still be able to eat outdoors and take part in other outdoor activities, although he stressed that the city might tighten rules in the future.
Businesses that violate the rules will be subject to an escalating scale of fines starting with $1,000 for a first offense, beginning on Sept. 13. Despite the strict new guidelines, de Blasio brushed aside questions about whether the city should do more to discourage all sorts of gatherings given the increasing number of cases attributed to the delta variant.
More than 100,000 New Yorkers got vaccinated last week, a 30% jump from the previous week. It’s the first time in two months the weekly tally has surpassed that number. More than two-thirds of New York City adults are fully vaccinated and about three in four have received at least one dose [NY DAILY NEWS].