Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses takes effect Monday — as he prepares to leave office in five days, leaving its enforcement up to Mayor-elect Eric Adams.
“Today [is] a historic day in New York City. We’re implementing the strongest vaccine mandate in the country, all private-sector employers, today,” de Blasio said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“This is what we need to do everywhere,” the outgoing mayor added. “Every mayor, every governor, every CEO in America should do vaccine mandates now, because 2022 has to be the year we leave COVID behind.”
The policy, announced Dec. 6, specifies that employers “may not allow any unvaccinated workers to come to their workplace,” according to guidelines released earlier this month.
Fines for non-compliant businesses start at $1,000, and rise upon subsequent infractions, City Hall’s instructions warn.
Starting Monday, Big Apple business owners are instructed to sign a form that affirms compliance with the vaccination rules to display in a “public-facing location” at the place of employment.
The one-page form includes the name and address of the business, as well as a date and signature from the business owner attesting, “I affirm that I have read the December 13, 2021 Order of the New York City Commissioner of Health requiring vaccination of workers and that my workplace is in compliance with the Order.”
Adams, who takes office on Jan. 1, has not taken a definitive stance on the measure. The outgoing Brooklyn borough president recently noted business leaders in the five boroughs are “concerned” about the mandate, while pledging to “evaluate” it and make a decision by “following the science.”
But notably, Adams announced last week that de Blasio’s health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, will remain in his role through mid-March of next year.
Also Monday, New Yorkers 12 and older will be required to have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — except for those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot — to enter many indoor settings in the five boroughs.
This includes restaurants, gyms, and indoor entertainment venues like cinemas and Broadway shows.
The original version of the “Key to NYC” program, which took effect Sept. 13, required just one vaccine dose to enter bars, restaurants and indoor entertainment venues like movie theaters.
Enforcement of the private-sector vaccine requirement comes after de Blasio’s municipal employee mandate took effect at the beginning of November.