Soon You'll Need Proof of Vaccination for Restaurants and Some Indoor Activities in NYC

by Natasha Gabrielle | Published on Aug. 4, 2021

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If you're planning a trip to NYC, you'll probably want to make sure that you're vaccinated before you arrive.

For those heading to New York City, proof of vaccination may soon be required for some indoor activities, including dining, seeing Broadway shows and other events, as well as visiting gyms. Keep reading to learn more about NYC's plans to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The Key to NYC Pass

The Big Apple is the first major city within the United States to outline vaccine requirements for staff and visitors.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced new vaccination requirements for those who want to enjoy certain activities in the city. This vaccine verification program -- the "Key to NYC Pass" -- will impact both workers and customers. Proof of having one dose of any vaccine will need to be shown.

Travelers planning to visit NYC who are not yet vaccinated may want to go ahead and make an appointment to get the vaccine. This could help prevent the need to alter plans or miss out on certain activities while in the city.

Here's what to expect with the upcoming policy

Mayor de Blasio noted that the policy should be published within the next few weeks. The city still needs to continue gathering feedback from businesses and sort out the official details.

Here's the expected timeline:

  • The policy will begin to be implemented the week of August 16, 2021
  • Inspections and enforcement will start the week of September 13, 2021

At this time, the plan is to require workers and customers to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before they can:

  • Dine indoors
  • Visit indoor fitness centers and gyms
  • Attend indoor entertainment events and performances

Travelers can choose to show a paper vaccination card or use the Excelsior Pass app to verify vaccination status.

With this proposed mandate, the city hopes to encourage more people to get vaccinated and lessen the severity of the virus for more people.

Broadway outlines mask mandates and vaccination requirements

Previously, The Broadway League announced masking and vaccination requirements for all upcoming performances. All 41 Broadway theaters will require proof of vaccination for audience members, performers, theater staff, and backstage crew. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theater, except when eating or drinking or in designated areas.

In order to attend, customers can expect to do one of the following:

  • Show proof of full vaccination (must have completed both doses for a two-dose shot or have received a one-dose shot at least 14 days before the performance)
  • Children under the age of 12 and people with medical conditions or closely held religious beliefs can present proof of a negative COVID-19 test

If planning to submit a negative test, it needs to be either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time or an antigen test taken within six hours.

This impacts performances held through October 31, 2021. The Broadway League may announce updates to this policy for performance dates beyond October.

Be flexible when booking travel arrangements

If you're planning any travel at this time, you must remain flexible. Rules and requirements are frequently changing as officials work to contain the spread of the virus. You may need to make adjustments before or even during your trip if there are significant rule changes. Be sure to double-check the news before leaving for your trip.

You should also know that changes may impact your personal finances. Having to switch your travel arrangements or change your trip date could make your post-pandemic trip more costly. Additionally, if you're traveling internationally and happen to test positive for COVID-19, you may be required to quarantine for a set number of days at your own expense. Tourist entry rules can change and vary from one country to another.

We suggest including additional money in your vacation budget to cover unexpected expenses. Using a rewards credit card is also recommended because you can earn rewards on your travel spending, which can cut down on costs. Here's a list of the best travel credit cards available right now.

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