New York City has announced it will require both customers and staff of restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses to have Covid-19 vaccinations in order to use their facilities.
The policy, similar to actions taken by the French government to halt the spread of Coronavirus, is set to be enforced from 13 September and is an attempt to encourage more New York residents to get vaccinated as the Delta variant continues to spread across the city and the rest of the US.
Currently, around 60% of New Yorkers have received at least their first Covid-19 jab, but uptake is lower in some areas, particularly those home to poor communities or communities of colour.
The new rules mean that anyone, resident or tourist, who wants to eat inside a restaurant or attend an indoor performance in New York City will have to show proof of their Covid-19 vaccination.
Speaking about the decision, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said he believes the policy will “turn the tide” on Covid. The new policy will see a "Key to NYC Pass" being introduced, which residents will be able to use as proof of being vaccinated.
A number of large US companies, including Netflix and Google have announced that US staff will be required to be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. In the UK, book publisher Bloomsbury said that all UK staff must be vaccinated ahead of returning to the workplace.
It is not yet known whether other major cities around the world, including London, will follow the example of New York. However, the UK government has previously touted the idea of ‘vaccine passports’ which will allow residents to gain access to nightclubs, cinemas and other indoor venues in the future.
In other news, the famous First Dates restaurant has closed, becoming yet another casualty of the pandemic.