New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the change this week.

New York will soon require Covid-19 vaccinations for employees and patrons hoping to set foot in nightclubs, indoor restaurants, gyms and other entertainment venues, including Broadway, announced Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday (3 August). It’s the first US city to introduce such measures. 

The policy, which the city is branding the ‘Key to NYC Pass’, is set to be phased in over the coming weeks, with the new restrictions coming into effect from 16 August. From then, staff and customers will be asked to show proof of at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose via the NYC COVID Safe app, Excelsior Pass, or their physical vaccine card before they can enter an indoor business. A transitional period will follow before the restrictions begin to be enforced city-wide from 13 September. People will be able to continue to dine outdoors without showing proof of vaccination.

“The key to New York City. When you hear those words, I want you to imagine the notion that because someone is vaccinated, they can do all the amazing things that are available in New York City,” said Bill de Blasio at a press conference. “This is a miraculous place, literally full of wonders, and if you’re vaccinated, all that’s gonna open up to you. You’ll have the key, you can open the door.”

“But if you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things,” he added. “It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life.”

Read: Keep NYC’s lights on: Club owners and artists on how Covid has impacted the nightlife scene.