NYC sets COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private-sector workers, kids

Weeks before he is set to leave office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced new COVID-19 vaccine mandates that will apply to private-sector businesses in the city.

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The rule will go into effect on Dec. 27.

De Blasio called the proactive move the “first in the nation measure,” WABC reported.

The announcement comes as cases of the omicron variant continue to rise, WCBS reported.

All employees working in the private sector in New York City will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The mayor also is requiring proof of vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 for indoor dining, fitness and entertainment.

Finally, to be considered fully vaccinated, people must have two doses instead of one, WNBC reported.

Originally, only city workers were required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, WCBS reported.

“NYC is a global leader when it comes to COVID-19 recovery. We’ve proven that with vaccine mandates and incentives, we can beat this virus,” de Blasio tweeted. “Now we’re taking another step towards the future — a private sector employee vaccine mandate. Together we can save lives and move forward.”

Last week the city announced a vaccine mandate for workers at religious and private schools, The New York Times reported. The mayor had also required vaccines for child care workers.

In addition to the vaccine mandates, de Blasio has also urged New Yorkers to wear masks inside, the Times reported.

Not everyone agreed with last week’s announcement.

“This is an area where government should be using its bully pulpit to persuade, not its regulatory arm to coerce,” Rabbi David Zwiebel wrote. The rabbi is the chairman of a group representing religious and independent school leaders, the Times reported.

De Blasio leaves office on Jan. 1 with Eric Adams elected to replace him.

Enforcement of the rules will land on Adams’ desk once he takes office.

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