NYC ends vaccine mandate for retail customers – but not for employees
03/02/2022 // Ramon Tomey // Views

New York City (NYC) has ended its Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine mandate for customers entering indoor businesses. However, it retained vaccine mandates for employees in the city.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams made the announcement through a Feb. 27 statement posted by his office. "[The city's COVID-19 numbers] continue to go down day after day. So as long as COVID indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week – on Monday, March 7, we will also lift Key2NYC requirements. This will give business owners the time to adapt and will allow us to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York [City.]"

Adams' statement mentioned that "all other vaccine mandates in NYC will remain in place at this time." It added that the COVID-19 shots "have been vital to protecting New Yorkers."

Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced the Key2NYC vaccine mandate, which applied to the entire city, back in August 2021. Under the mandate, patrons are required to present proof of vaccination before entering indoor dining, fitness, entertainment and conference establishments.

Adams also announced that NYC will rescind indoor mask mandates for students in public schools on March 7 if the city sees "no unforeseen spikes" and if COVID-19 numbers "continue to show a low level of risks."

He remarked: "Our schools have been among the safest places for our children since the beginning of the pandemic, and we will continue to make the proper public health decisions to keep our kids safe – including making masks available for any child or school staff member who wishes to continue wearing them."


The Feb. 27 announcement did not rescind the vaccine mandate for NYC workers. According to the city's website, those "who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business" must show proof that they have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. For the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, workers would be given 45 days to get the second dose.

"Businesses may not allow any unvaccinated workers to come to their workplace. A workplace is considered any location – including a vehicle – where you work in the presence of at least one other person," the city stated. (Related: New Jersey, New York City mandate COVID-19 vaccines for school employees and government workers.)

No exceptions for NYC private workers – even Kyrie Irving

The Big Apple's vaccine mandate for workers – both public and private – also applied to Kyrie Irving. The Brooklyn Nets player has continued to turn down the COVID-19 shots, forcing him to sit out home games at the Barclays Center.

The NYC mayor emphasized that Irving would not be given an exception during a Feb. 28 interview. "Businesses have their vaccine mandates, city employees have their vaccine mandates. It would send the wrong message just to have an exception for one player when we're telling countless NYC employees [that] if you don't follow the rules, you won't be able to [get] employed," he said during an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

However, the National Basketball Association's policy states that players who have not been injected with the COVID-19 vaccine can play at Barclays Center. NYC's policy likewise states that players from visiting teams – including unvaccinated ones – are allowed to step on the court.

The New York Post sought clarification on the matter. According to a spokesman, unvaccinated athletes playing for visiting teams are permitted to play. Since Irving is employed by the Nets – which is based in NYC – he is covered by the Key2NYC vaccine mandate.

Adams admitted that the rule allowing unvaccinated players to play in NYC while Irving was banned is illogical. "It makes no sense, and I don't know who thought of putting such a ridiculous rule in place of away teams [being allowed to] come and play with our [home] teams. But these are the rules and I have to follow them," the NYC mayor said.

More related stories:

New York City to reopen schools ONLY if coronavirus test rate stays below 3%.

New York City now segregating the unvaccinated, ordering restaurants NOT to serve them.

New York City says restaurants, gyms must require guests to show proof of covid "vaccination."

Bill de Blasio threatens to expand "vaccine passport" requirements in New York City: Are grocery stores next?

New York City's top health official tests positive for coronavirus; Mayor de Blasio pushes for more vaccinations.

Watch this video of Kyrie Irving saying he does not feel guilty turning down the COVID-19 vaccine.

This video is from the Take down CCP channel on

Visit for more stories about NYC and other locations lifting vaccine mandates.

Sources include: 1 2 3

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