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NYC to require restaurant customers to show vaccination proof

A customer shows her vaccination card to a host at City Winery, a restaurant in New York. Many restaurants with policies requiring their customers to be vaccinated are asking for physical or digital proof of their vaccination status.
A customer shows her vaccination card to a host at City Winery, a restaurant in New York. Many restaurants with policies requiring their customers to be vaccinated are asking for physical or digital proof of their vaccination status.Victor J. Blue/NYT

New York City will require proof of vaccination for workers and customers at indoor restaurants and gyms, according to Bill Neidhardt, the mayor’s press secretary.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce the mandate at his Tuesday virus briefing, Neidhardt said.

The move by de Blasio is the latest step to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated. The mayor is requiring city workers to get Covid-19 shots or be tested weekly.

As of Aug. 3, 66.2% of New York City residents are fully vaccinated, according to city data. Still, cases are climbing as the contagious delta variant spreads. Delta makes up 72% of tested cases in New York City in the last four weeks.

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Some of New York’s most famous dining rooms already require vaccinations, including Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. Broadway venues also are requiring them.

Equinox Group said Monday that members, riders and employees will be required to show vaccine proof to enter its Equinox gyms, SoulCycle studios and corporate offices in New York City starting in early September.

De Blasio is focusing on requirements for vaccines, rather than masks, to deal with delta. The mayor has stopped short of mandating masks in indoor places for vaccinated residents, saying he wants to preserve an incentive for people to get their shots.

New York state this year launched a digital vaccine passport called the Excelsior Pass, similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, that businesses and venues can scan to verify proof of negative Covid-19 tests results or proof of vaccination.