New York City Will Require Proof of Vaccination to Attend Live Concerts
Concertgoers in New York City will soon have to prove they're fully COVID-19 vaccinated to attend live shows.
Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated as much this week when he revealed that NYC would become the first city in the United States to require proof of vaccination for a range of in-person activities for both customers and workers, as The New York Times reported on Tuesday (Aug. 3). That includes indoor dining, gyms and performances.
There will be no option to display a recent negative COVID test result in place of proof of vaccination, ABC 7 pointed out. The new requirements roll out later this month, beginning Aug. 16, before taking full effect on Sept. 13 to coincide with students' return to schools.
"It's time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life," the mayor said during a press conference. "Not everyone is going to agree with this, I understand that. But for so many people, this is going to be a lifesaving act, that we are putting a mandate in place that is going to guarantee a much higher level of vaccination. … That is the key to protecting people [and to] our recovery."
How will the New York City vaccine mandate work? A city-issued health pass called the "Key to NYC Pass" will allow a vaccinated person to provide their proof of vaccination where required. The Key to NYC pass will be available to access via a new digital app, as well as the state's Excelsior app. The paper card proving vaccination can also reportedly be used the same way.
NYC's move comes around 18 months after the novel coronavirus sparked a worldwide pandemic. Vaccination efforts in the U.S. continue, but about half the country's total population remains unvaccinated as more easily transmissible variants of COVID-19 have emerged. In New York City, the amount of those vaccinated is slightly higher, with around 66 percent of NYC adults fully vaccinated in most areas of the city.
The city's vaccine mandate follows similar ones raised in France and Italy last month. Mayor de Blasio, seemingly reluctant to issue new mask mandates in NYC, still presumably anticipates the virus to make a renewed attack as many return to in-person work.
Broadway theaters already instituted vaccine requirements for patrons of the city's plays, as Consequence noted. The citywide mandate and Key to NYC Pass will make it a blanket obligation. (Outdoor dining won't fall under the new guidelines.)
"We think it is so important to make clear that if you are vaccinated, you get to benefit in all sorts of ways," de Blasio added. "You get to live a better life. Besides your health in general, you get to participate in many, many things. And if you're unvaccinated, they are going to be fewer and fewer things that you're able to do."
Government officials in England are following a similar path with that country's NHS Covid Pass, another so-called "COVID passport" used to prove vaccination.
Last year, notions of vaccine stipulations (or negative test results) for concert admittance was reported to be something Ticketmaster may propose for concertgoers. To that, Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament said he wasn't sure he could see the band "checking [fans'] vaccination cards."