NEW YORK - A COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all private employers is now in effect in New York City. Also, New Yorkers aged 12 and older are now required to show proof of two vaccine doses to enter most indoor venues.
From bodegas to multinational corporations, workers everywhere in the city who only have one dose have 45 days to show proof of getting the second.
"This is the boldest action in the nation," Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier this month. "It is very, very consistent with what we're dealing with right now because we have new threats, powerful new threats we have to answer. Omicron, this new variant, moves fast. We have to move faster."
Employers must post a sign about the requirement for employees. They must also keep a record of each worker's vaccination status and keep a record of any reasonable accommodations provided.
Employees may continue working while accommodation applications are processed.
If a business doesn't comply, the city will try to focus first on education, de Blasio said, but fines start at $1,000 after that.
"They do start at $1,000 per violation if we need to use them," de Blasio said. "We can escalate that intensely if we see a pattern of willful refusal to follow the law."
It will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses in the city, which has a population of 8.8 million. Exceptions can be made for employees who work remotely.
Vaccinations are already required in the city for hospital and nursing home workers and for city employees, including teachers, police officers and firefighters. At least one vaccine dose is required for indoor restaurant dining, entertainment venues and fitness centers.
Under new mandates for indoor dining, entertainment and gyms, two shots will be required for people over 12. One shot is required for children aged 5 to 11, who are not covered by the current mandate, de Blasio said.