Get ready. New COVID rules for private employers start in the country’s largest city today

By Zlati Meyer

December 27, 2021

Vaccination rules for private-sector employers in New York City take effect today, the first such mandate in the United States.

Employees “who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business” must be vaccinated. As of today, they have to show that they’ve had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. They then have 45 days to get their second dose, if they were administered vaccines made by Moderna or Pfizer. Employees who remain unvaccinated aren’t allowed to come to their workplaces, which include not just offices and stores, but vehicles in which at least one other individual is present, according to the city’s website.

The mandate applies to an estimated 184,000 businesses, City Hall said.

For proof of vaccination, workers can use a CDC vaccination card, a New York City vaccination record, the NYC COVID Safe app, the CLEAR health pass, or the Excelsior Pass/Excelsior Pass Plus.

The requirements were unveiled on Dec. 6 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who leaves office at the end of this week.

The move comes as the number of cases of the very spreadable Omicron variant is on the rise.

“New York City will not give a single inch in the fight against COVID-19,” de Blasio said in a written statement at the time. “From workplace mandates, to $100 incentives, to mobile and at-home vaccination offerings, no place in the nation has done more to end the COVID era.”