Mandatory vaccines for all employees in New York City, says mayor

6 December 2021, 22:11

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that all employees of private firms must be vaccinated
Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that all employees of private firms must be vaccinated. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

All New York City employers will have to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for their workers under new rules announced by the city's mayor.

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The vaccine mandate for private businesses will take effect on December 27 and is aimed at preventing a spike in Covid-19 infections during the Christmas holidays and the colder months, according to the Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio.

"We in New York City have decided to use a pre-emptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of Covid and the dangers it's causing to all of us," Mr de Blasio said.

"All private-sector employers in New York City will be covered by this vaccine mandate as of December 27."

Read more: Boris Johnson to decide on Christmas Covid restrictions within 10 days

Read more: Omicron: Variant spreading through community transmission in 'multiple English regions'

Vaccinations are already required for city employees including teachers, police officers and firefighters, and a vaccination mandate for employees of private and religious schools was announced last week.

The city was moving to impose the mandate on private sector businesses even as federal courts have temporarily blocked an attempt by President Joe Biden to do the same nationally for larger companies.

Mr de Blasio said he expects the new mandate to survive any legal challenges.

A spokesperson for the mayor said the private sector mandate will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses.

Current New York City Covid-19 rules also include at least one vaccine dose for indoor restaurant dining, entertainment venues and fitness centres.

Read more: Italy bans unvaccinated from restaurants, theatres and museums ahead of Xmas

Read more: Moment police confront man for not wearing mask while 'ordering Subway'

Under new mandates for indoor dining, entertainment and gyms, two shots will be required for people over 12.

One shot will be required for children aged five to 11, who are not covered by the current mandate, Mr de Blasio said.

Mr De Blasio, who will leave office at the end of the month and has indicated he may seek the Democratic nomination for governor of New York next year, has sought to portray himself as a national leader in the fight against Covid-19.

Restrictions for unvaccinated people are tightening across the globe.

On Monday Italy banned unvaccinated people from indoor restaurants, theatres and museums, to reduce the spread of Covid and encourage unvaccinated people to get their jabs.

People must also show a health pass to access local public transport and stay in hotels, although this particular pass will accept proof of a negative test as an alternative.

Germany and Austria have also announced they are making vaccines mandatory, and Greece is charging monthly fines of 100 euros for anyone over 60 who has not had their jabs.

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