NYC offers businesses guidance on vaccination mandate

New York City is laying out new guidance for how indoor businesses should enforce entry to only vaccinated customers.

"If you are a restaurant, you'll be able to look and see exactly what you need to do. If you are a gym, you'll have specific help on how to put your plan in action," Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris said. "If you're a movie theater, you'll find out on how to keep the line moving."

Enforcement requiring at least one vaccine dose at indoor spots like restaurants, gyms, and theaters goes into effect on Sept. 13. Some of the guidance includes:

  • Having multiple employees ready to check proof of vaccination
  • Having a system in place to control crowding at the door
  • Making sure staff and customers know where to go for questions about the mandate, which is

Dr. Danielle Ompad, an epidemiologist, said the one-shot vaccine mandate is a good thing but she doesn't want New Yorkers to then skip out on that second shot.

"This is an opportunity for people who are highly unlikely to get vaccinated for us to entice them to get at least the first shot," Ompad said. "You won't be fully protected so we will want to encourage people who get one shot to get the second shot and the subsequent booster that we are all anticipating."

During her first coronavirus briefing, Gov. Kathy Hochul also expressed her concern that not enough New Yorkers are getting that second dose.

"Our New York state vaccination rate, one dose, is 76% 18 and over — that's not good enough," she said. "It only really works when you have two doses, my friend."

Hochul also wants to require vaccines or weekly testing for all school staff but she hasn't gotten legal clearance for that just yet. She is also reiterating her calls for mask mandates in schools across the state. She also announced that the state is preparing to administer booster shots and has already allocated $65 million to local governments to make it happen.

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