Vaccine Passport Enforcement in NYC Began This Week, Violators Face Up to $5,000 Fines

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 09: People gather at City Hall to protest vaccine mandates on August 09, 2021 in New York City. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that as of August 16th proof of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination will be required to attend indoor restaurants, gyms, …
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Enforcement of New York City’s “Key to NYC” Pass began this week, requiring businesses such as restaurants and gyms to discriminate against unvaccinated individuals by denying them entry into their establishments.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) originally announced the mandate in mid-August while touting a month-long period to educate the masses on the move, which requires gyms, restaurants, and entertainment venues to bar unvaccinated individuals from entering their establishments or face monetary consequences.

“It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life,” he said at the time, softly rolling out the policy in mid-August. Inspections and enforcement, however, began this week. Now, per the city’s mandate, individuals who are eligible to be vaccinated must show proof of at least one shot of vaccination to eat at an indoor restaurant, bar, or other eatery, via a copy of their vaccination card or proof on one of the city or state apps.

Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 8/5/21 Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the Coney Island Hospital Tower Building, renaming it in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (NYC)

Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the Coney Island Hospital Tower Building, renaming it in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (NYC) Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 8/5/21 

Further, according to the Wall Street Journal, “the city amended its work rules to allow employers to fire fast-food workers who refuse to show proof of vaccination”:
The city on Monday is beginning to enforce the vaccination-proof mandate, with inspectors from various agencies checking for signs and written plans, a spokeswoman for the New York City’s mayor’s office said. Restaurants have had to comply with the rule since Aug. 17, though some New York City owners said they have been waiting for the full mandate to kick in before beginning to card customers.
New York’s rules allow customers without proof of vaccination to be inside a restaurant for a short period, roughly 10 minutes or less. Customers can use the bathroom, pay a bill or order takeout, the city says, but still must wear a mask. They can also be served outside.

Patrons wait for their orders as food and cocktails are for sale to go at Caffe Dante bar and restaurant in Manhattan on March 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Victor J. Blue/Getty Images)

Businesses that fail to comply could face thousands of dollars in fines — a devastating blow to businesses still attempting to recover from the mass shutdowns, particularly in New York City, last year. The first violation will be $1,000, but further offenses could result in fines up to $5,000.
De Blasio, meanwhile, on Wednesday bragged about the number of doses of vaccines administered — 11,106,486 to date.

“Great number. Growing strong. You’re going to see this number continue to go up again in these next days especially because of both the incentives and the mandates having a full effect over the next few weeks,” he said.

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