The Equinox Group, the parent company of Equinox and SoulCycle, said Monday it will require proof of coronavirus vaccination at its two fitness chains, becoming the latest company to mandate jabs against the illness.
Equinox said everyone entering any of the group’s gyms, studios or corporate offices must provide one-time proof of inoculation starting next month in New York City, where the vast majority of Equinox facilities are located, with plans to expand the policy to all markets in the works. Accepted forms of proof include vaccination cards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, photos of the CDC card or digital passports like the Excelsior Pass used in New York, Equinox said.
“We have a responsibility to take bold action and respond to changing circumstances with urgency,” Equinox Group Executive Chairman Harvey Spevak said in a statement. “We encourage other leading brands to join us in this effort to best protect our communities.”
Equinox’s announcement came as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) urged private businesses, including bars and restaurants, to “go to vaccine-only admission,” saying the suggested policy is in their “best business interest.”
“Everybody has to get vaccinated,” Cuomo said during a press conference.
“Private businesses, I am asking them and suggesting to them go to vaccine-only admission. Go to vaccine-only admission. We did this,” the governor continued. “Radio City Music Hall months ago reopened vaccine-only, sold out all the shows. Sports arenas, they went up to about 90 percent vaccine-only.”
“Private businesses, bars, restaurants — go to a vaccine-only admission. I believe it’s in your best business interest,” he added.
In June, New York celebrated over 2 million users of the Excelsior Passes, a vaccine passport, which provides perks to holders such as exclusive access to the Empire State Building. The state issued the Excelsior Pass, which was developed in partnership with IBM, allows individuals to present proof of vaccination or a negative test result.