New York City will require visitors and employees of museums and other cultural institutions to have received at least their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The new rule is an expansion of the “Key to NYC” program, which mandates vaccination for entry to indoor settings including bars, restaurants, fitness facilities and other venues. It takes effect Tuesday, though inspections and enforcement will not start until Sept. 13 to allow time for people to learn the rules.

“We want people to enjoy the fullness of the city,” the Democratic mayor said during a news conference, “but you’ve got to have a vaccine to do it.”

Businesses will be required to check the vaccination status of all staff and visitors over age 12. Noncompliance could result in fines.

De Blasio said he expects the program to persuade people to get immunized. He said he especially hoped young people – one of the biggest areas of concern for the city’s vaccination efforts – would be motivated.

“We know this is going to reach hundreds of thousands of people, convince them it’s time,” he said. “We know one of the biggest reasons this is going to work is that New Yorkers, we love our arts, our culture, entertainment, restaurants – we love all these things.”


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