NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private sector employers; strict travel rules begin as US cases climb: COVID-19 updates.

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A vaccine mandate for private-sector workers across New York City will take effect this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The expansion of de Blasio’s “Key to NYC” vaccination program, effective Dec. 27, will cover 184,000 businesses, he said. Vaccinations are already required for hospital and nursing home workers – and city employees including teachers, police officers and firefighters. A vaccination mandate for employees of private and religious schools was announced last week.

The mayor announced a series of other new requirements, including an order that 5-to 11-year-old children get vaccinated to participate in high-risk extracurricular activities such as sports, band, orchestra and dance. The requirement for the initial vaccine dose will take effect on Dec. 14.

“Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold, first-in-the-nation measures to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe,” de Blasio said in a statement. “No place in the nation has done more to end the COVID era. And, if you have not taken this step yet, there’s no better day than today to stand up for your city.”

Almost 6.5 million New Yorkers – including 89% of adults – have received at least one vaccine dose, the city says.

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