On December 6th, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a vaccine mandate for private-sector workers, expanding the City’s Key to NYC Program (Program). Earlier, in August 2021, Mayor de Blasio announced the Program and issued Executive Order No. 225 (Order). The Order requires patrons and employees of certain establishments to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, the Order made New York City (City) the first U.S. city to require a COVID-19 vaccine to participate in specific activities. Previously, the Sixth Circuit Court was hearing arguments for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) nationwide COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Background of the Key to NYC Program

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor de Blasio issued Executive Order 225 on August 16th, 2021. In general, the Order states that a covered entity shall not permit a patron 12 years of age or older, employee, intern, volunteer, or contractor to enter a covered premises without proof of vaccination. Additionally, people 18 and older are required to show identification along with their proof of vaccination. Specifically, covered entities under the Order include:

  • Entertainment and Recreational Settings set indoors
  • Indoor Food Services
  • Indoor Gyms and Fitness Settings

Basically, the Order requires those entities to obtain proof of a covered individual’s receipt of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, any person or entity that violates the Order shall receive a $1,000 fine for the first violation. Altogether, the City named these requirements the Key to NYC Program.

Expansion of Key to NYC Program and Vaccine Mandate

Recently, in response to newly announced vaccination mandates for City employees, childcare providers, and non-public school employees, the Mayor expanded the Key to NYC Program. Starting December 14th, 2021, the City will expand the vaccine mandate to cover more individuals. Specifically, the Program will require the following:

  1. Proof of vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 to enter indoor dining, entertainment, or fitness venues;
  2. Vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 to participate in high-risk extracurricular activities, including sports, band, orchestra, and dance;
  3. Two vaccine doses for New Yorkers 12 years of age or older, up from one dose, except for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; and
  4. Proof of vaccination for private-sector workers within the City.

Subsequently, the City will issue additional enforcement and reasonable accommodation guidance for the mandate on December 15. In addition, the City will provide resources to help small businesses implement the expanded vaccine mandate.

COVID-19 Poster Bundle

In general, business owners and employers throughout the U.S. need to help protect workers and patrons from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. In addition, social distancing and other protective measures can help reduce the risk of an outbreak within the workplace. Accordingly, workers and patrons alike benefit from information on minimizing the risk of possible spread. Therefore, Personnel Concepts created the COVID-19 Poster Bundle. The bundle features the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and OSHA.