NYC’s New Vaccination Requirements for Public Venues

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Starting August 17, 2021, a major new measure takes effect to slow the Delta surge in NYC — Everyone aged 12 and older are now required to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, fitness facilities, and entertainment venues.

At a time when Covid cases and hospitalizations are rising rapidly, these measures will help make the business and cultural venues we love safer.

Below are answers to some key questions about how this important new program works.


Delta FAQ

NYC’s New Vaccination Requirements for Public Venues 
Why are these new mandates necessary?
Covid is surging in New York City. Since July, daily cases are up 10 times and hospitalizations are up almost 5 times previous levels. Restricting key indoor venues to people who are vaccinated will make them far safer. And it will give an added incentive to those on the fence to get their vaccinations.
Where will these new mandates apply?
The program, called “Key To NYC”, will apply to staff and patrons at a wide variety of establishments. For a full list of establishments covered please visit HERE.What forms of proof of vaccination will be accepted at locations covered in the new mandate?

  • Excelsior Pass
  • NYC COVID Safe App
  • CDC Vaccination Card (or photo of it)
  • NYC Vaccination Record
  • An official immunization record from outside New York City or the U.S.
What is the difference between all these forms of vaccination proof?
The New York State Excelsior Pass is the most robust standard since it reads against the state’s immunization database. But this creates some complications for sign-up (e.g. if your name is off by one letter in the official record).Will I be asked to show my ID along with my vaccination proof?
Yes. Businesses are required to check IDs of those who look 18 or older and may do so for those who look 12 or older. The idea is to compare the name on the ID to the name on the vaccination documentation in order to reduce fraud.

What if you’ve only had your first vaccine shot?
The Key To NYC program only requires you to have your first dose. (This is somewhat controversial. Personally, I would have preferred that people be required to complete their full vaccine series).

I got vaccinated in another country, is that OK?
Yes, as long as you received a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (e.g. AstraZeneca).

What if I am at a restaurant but just ordering take-out? Or eating in outdoor seating and need to use the restroom?
In those cases, you do not need to show vaccine proof.

When does this take effect?
The vaccination screening requirement starts today, August 17th. But enforcement won’t begin until Sept. 13th. Fines for establishments that don’t comply begin at $1000 and will increase for repeat offenses.

Just to confirm–what about kids?
Children under 12 are not required to show proof of vaccination.

Is this really necessary?
Yes. Delta is incredibly contagious. Unvaccinated people are at enormous risk in crowded indoor settings. By screening for vaccination, New York City is making the places we love far safer. So get vaccinated and enjoy your favorite restaurant, museum, or theater!

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