HIGH OUTLOOK – Just days after announcing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all private and religious schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping new mandate covering private businesses in New York City.
The mandate, which takes effect on Dec. 27, means companies must require employees to show proof of vaccination to enter the workplace. New York would become the first city in the country to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private companies.
The mandate will affect approximately 184,000 private businesses in the city.
President Biden has issued similar warrants but has encountered legal hurdles. His vaccination mandates for private companies, healthcare workers and federal contractors have been blocked in court, and Republicans in the Senate have discussed ways to freeze funding for any mandate.
The mayor of Blasio, who announced the mandate on Monday, December 6, said he was instituting it as a preventive measure to help the city tackle the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19. As of Monday, seven cases of Omicron had been confirmed in New York.
“New York City will not give up an inch in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and it is bold steps, the first in the country, to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe, ”de Blasio said in a statement.
On December 15, the city will publish an explanatory overview of how the mandate will be implemented.
A spokesperson for Eric Adams said the mayor-elect has not determined what action he will take.
“The mayor-elect will assess this term and other COVID strategies while in office and make decisions based on science, effectiveness and the advice of medical professionals,” spokesman Evan Thies said Monday. .
The new rule comes four days after the mayor announced a vaccination mandate for all teachers and staff in private and religious schools.
This mandate affects approximately 2,200 teachers working in 69 in-person schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Across the city, the mandate affects approximately 56,000 employees in 938 Catholic schools, yeshivas and other non-public schools. The mayor imposed a deadline of December 20 for school employees to show proof of vaccination.
Also on Monday, de Blasio announced an expanded mandate requiring customers to show proof of vaccination in order to dine at restaurants, work out at gyms and go to entertainment venues.
Starting December 14, children aged 5 to 11 will need to show proof of at least one dose of the vaccine. And from December 27, anyone 12 years of age and older must show proof of not one, but two doses of the vaccine.