August 25, 2021
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted New York City and its economy, and is addressed effectively only by joint action of the City, State, and Federal governments; and
WHEREAS, the state of emergency to address the threat and impacts of COVID-19 in the City of New York first declared in Emergency Executive Order No. 98, and extended most recently by Emergency Executive Order No. 220, remains in effect; and
WHEREAS, this Order is given because of the propensity of the virus to spread person-to-person, and also because the actions taken to prevent such spread have led to property loss and damage;
WHEREAS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) reports that new variants of COVID-19, classified as “variants of concern,” are present in the United States;
WHEREAS, some of these new variants currently account for the majority of COVID-19 cases sequenced in New York City and are much more transmissible than earlier variants;
WHEREAS, the CDC has stated that vaccination is the most effective tool to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect against severe illness;
WHEREAS, the CDC has also stated that vaccination benefits both vaccine recipients and those with whom they come into contact, including individuals who are ineligible for the vaccine due to age, health or other conditions;
WHEREAS, the recent appearance in the City of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 has substantially increased the risk of infection;
WHEREAS, indoor entertainment, recreation, dining and fitness settings generally involve groups of unassociated people interacting for a substantial period of time and requiring vaccination for all individuals in these areas, including workers, will protect the public health, promote public safety, and save the lives of not just those vaccinated individuals but the public at large;
WHEREAS, 57% of City residents are fully vaccinated and 64% of residents have received at least one dose, and mandating vaccinations at the types of establishments that residents frequent will incentivize vaccinations, increasing the City’s vaccination rates and saving lives; and
WHEREAS, a study by Yale University demonstrated that the City’s vaccination campaign was estimated to have prevented about 250,000 COVID-19 cases, 44,000 hospitalizations and 8,300 deaths from COVID-19 infection since the start of vaccination through July 1, 2021, and the City believes the number of prevented cases, hospitalizations and death has risen since then; and that between January 1, 2021, and June 15, 2021, over 98% of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 infection involved those who were not fully vaccinated;
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the laws of the State of New York and the City of New York, including but not limited to the New York Executive Law, the New York City Charter and the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and the common law authority to protect the public in the event of an emergency:
Section 1. I hereby direct that the State of Emergency declared in Emergency Executive Order No. 98, dated March 12, 2020, and extended by subsequent orders, is extended for thirty (30) days.
§ 2. I hereby direct that section 1 of Emergency Executive Order No. 226, dated August 20, 2021, is extended for five (5) days.
§ 3. I hereby direct that section 2 of Emergency Executive Order No. 226, dated August 20, 2021, shall be superseded in its entirety by the provisions of section 4 of this Order.
§ 4. a. The program established by this section shall be known as the Key to NYC program.
b. I hereby order that, except as provided in subdivision c of this section, a covered entity shall not permit a patron, full- or part-time employee, intern, volunteer, or contractor to enter a covered premises without displaying proof of vaccination and identification bearing the same identifying information as the proof of vaccination.
c. I hereby order that the following individuals are exempted from this section, and therefore may enter a covered premises without displaying proof of vaccination, provided that such individuals wear a face mask at all times when they are unable to maintain six (6) feet of distance from other individuals inside the covered premises:
d. I hereby direct each covered entity to develop and keep a written record describing the covered entity’s protocol for implementing and enforcing the requirements of this section. Such written record shall be available for inspection upon a request of a City official as allowed by law.i
e. I hereby direct each covered entity to post a sign in a conspicuous place that is viewable by prospective patrons prior to entering the establishment. The sign must alert patrons to the vaccination requirement in this section and inform them that employees and patrons are required to be vaccinated. The Department for Health and Mental Hygiene (“DOHMH”) shall determine the text of such sign and provide a template on its website that a covered entity may use. A covered entity may use the sign available online at nyc.gov/keytoNYC, or use its own sign, provided its sign must be no smaller than 8.5 inches by 11 inches, with text provided by DOHMH in at least 14-point font.
f. For the purposes of this Order:
g. I hereby direct that each instance that a covered entity fails to check an individual’s vaccination status shall constitute a separate violation of this section.
h. I hereby direct the City’s Commission on Human Rights to develop guidance to assist covered entities in complying with this section in an equitable manner consistent with applicable provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law.
i. I hereby direct, in accordance with section 25 of the Executive Law, that staff from any agency as may hereafter be designated by the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene shall enforce the directives set forth in this section.
j. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of any subsequent emergency executive order continuing this section:
k. Covered entities shall comply with further guidelines issued by DOHMH to further the intent of this section and increase the number of vaccinated individuals in the City.
l. Section 20-1271 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York is modified by adding the following provision to the definition of “just cause:” Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, a fast food employer shall be deemed to have just cause when a fast food employee has failed to provide proof of vaccination required by an emergency executive order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and shall not be required to follow progressive discipline procedures prior to terminating the employee, provided that the employee shall have 30 days from the date when the employer notified the employee of the requirement to submit such proof and the employee shall be placed on leave following such notification until such proof is provided. This provision shall not excuse the employer from the responsibility to provide a reasonable accommodation where required by law.
§ 5. I hereby direct the Fire and Police Departments, the Department of Buildings, the Sheriff, and other agencies as needed, to enforce the directives set forth in section 2 of this Order in accordance with their lawful authorities, including Administrative Code sections 15-227(a), 28-105.10.1, and 28-201.1, and section 107.6 of the Fire Code. Violations of the directives set forth in section 1 of this Order may be issued as if they were violations under the Health Code sections 3.07 and 3.11, and enforced by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or any other agency.
§ 6. This Emergency Executive Order shall take effect immediately, except that section 4(j) of this Order shall take effect on September 13, 2021. The State of Emergency shall remain in effect for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days or until rescinded, whichever occurs first. Additional declarations to extend the State of Emergency for additional periods not to exceed thirty (30) days shall be issued if needed.
Bill de Blasio,