The vaccine requirement for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues might be lifted on Mar. 7, provided that COVID-19 developments continue to move in the right direction, Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday.
The mayor joins other city officials in Seattle and Boston who have made similar decisions in recent weeks.
“New York City’s numbers continue to go down day after day, so, as long as COVID indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week, on Monday, March 7 we will also lift Key2NYC requirements,” Adams announced.
“This will give business owners the time to adapt and will allow us to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York.”
According to the current mandate, which was first announced in August, customers must provide proof of vaccination to be allowed into any indoor locations in New York City.
Restaurants, nightclubs, coffee shops, bars, fast food eateries, gyms, movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums, sports arenas and stadiums, theaters, and billiard halls are all subject to the requirement as of today.
Adams reportedly consults health professionals on a daily basis to develop the structure and standards that New York must meet before returning to its pre-pandemic way of life.
“We can’t close down again, and I’m not going to do something at my anticipation to get back that’s going to jeopardize closing down the city again,” Adams said.
“Our economy can’t handle it. We don’t have another $11 billion to put back in the economy. We must do it the smart way.”
Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further eased the mask-wearing mandate, including at schools, following a sharp drop in cases and mitigation efforts nationwide.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Sunday that the statewide school mask requirement will be removed on March 2.
“We are now entering a new phase of the pandemic. Because New Yorkers have stepped up, we can confidently remove the statewide mask requirement in our schools,” she said.