Vaccine mandate may be coming for NYC bars and eateries, de Blasio says


City health officials may soon impose a vaccine mandate for all city bars and restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

“Given everything we’re learning, all options are on the table,” de Blasio told “CNN Newsroom” about imposing the regulation to stop the Delta variant that’s responsible for a doubling of local COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks.

“I keep saying we’re climbing the ladder in terms of more and more mandates,” said the mayor, who is requiring all city workers to get vaccinated or wear a mask and get tested weekly.

“Folks who are vaccinated are going to be able to experience all the things they love,” he continued.

“And folks who are not vaccinated are going to find too many things they want to do they can’t do because they aren’t vaccinated,” de Blasio said.

The city Department of Health has the authority to impose such a mandate, the mayor believes.

“The Health Department, which especially in an emergency situation like this, has very real powers,” the mayor said.

“Any kind of public health issue could be addressed and we’re looking at all those options,” he said.

City health officials may soon impose a vaccine mandate for all city bars and restaurants.
ZUMAPRESS.com

“We need mandates. We’ve got to show people this is the only way forward — to get vaccinated,” he said.

A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who often overruled de Blasio’s COVID-19 recommendations at the height of the pandemic, said that since New York rescinded its state of emergency in the spring, coronavirus regulations are now up to localities.

“I don’t know the legal issues around this but I think it’s the right policy,” said Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), who chairs the body’s health committee.

Andrew Rigie, of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said the mandate shouldn’t single out his industry.

“The city should lead by example and require people to be vaccinated to enter city buildings and other places, so it’s not just restaurant workers who need to do the tough job of refusing entry to customers,” Rigie told The Post.

“Our city’s restaurant workers have been battered and we need to do everything to avoid another round of pandemic closures, but need to recognize that a vaccine mandate will pose real challenges to many restaurants,” Rigie said.

As an incentive to get the vaccine, NYC may adopt a new rule that all restaurants must order all patrons to have been vaccinated.
James Keivom

De Blasio’s remarks come after famed restaurateur Danny Meyer said Thursday that his eateries across the city and in Washington, DC, will require vaccinations against the coronavirus for staff and customers.

The mayor added that on Monday, he would “delineate to New Yorkers the best way to use masks” — including whether he’ll require face coverings indoors.

But he is still focused on raising the city’s vaccination rate above its current level of 71 percent of adults.

“We will address masks, we will, but we have to make sure everything we do supports vaccination,” he said.