‘Key to NYC’ Unlocked: What You Need to Know About Accessing NYC’s Indoor Spaces

Image via the City of New York

Note: The below info is from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

To visit the page from which content was taken, click here

For Frequently Asked Questions (including what public/private venues/spaces are exempt), click here.

Key to NYC is a policy that went into effect on August 17, 2021. Enforcement will begin on September 13, 2021. The policy requires people 12 and older to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO for:

Indoor Dining | Includes restaurants, catering halls, event spaces, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, grocery stores with indoor dining, coffee shops and fast food or quick service with indoor dining.

Indoor Fitness | Includes gyms, fitness centers, fitness classes, pools, indoor studios and dance studios.

Indoor Entertainment | Includes movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums and galleries, aquariums and zoos, professional sports arenas, indoor stadiums, convention centers, exhibition halls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, pool and billiard halls, recreational game centers, adult entertainment, and indoor play areas. This new requirement—called the Key to NYC—includes bars, fitness gyms, movie and stage theatres, museums and other indoor venues. Staff at these locations are also required to be vaccinated.

The highly contagious delta variant is spreading quickly in NYC, and unvaccinated people are at the most risk for infection, hospitalization and death. Learn how you can get vaccinated for free today.

Image via the City of New York

For proof of vaccination, you can use:

A CDC Vaccination Card. A photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.

A NYC Vaccination Record or other official immunization record from within or outside the U.S., including from your health care provider. A photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable. If you are unable to get this record, call 311.

The NYC COVID Safe App: Android /iOS | You can upload to this app a photo of your CDC vaccination card or other official record, along with your photo ID.

AN Excelsior Pass (or Excelsior Pass Plus). To use this app, you will need the phone number or email address associated with your NYC vaccination record. If you are unable to use this app, try one of the other options listed above.

Discrimination Complaints and Reasonable Accommodations | Indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues must accept valid proof that you received at least one dose of any vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO. This requirement may not be used as an excuse for businesses to discriminate against anyone who has valid vaccination proof. You have a right to be free from discrimination or harassment. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of who you are, including your race, national origin or disability, contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights. For questions about reasonable accommodations, including those for medical conditions, see:

Key to NYC: Guidance for Customers and Employees on Equitable Implementation
Key to NYC: Guidance for Businesses on Equitable Implementation

Information for Businesses | If your business is covered by this requirement, you are required to check the vaccination status of all staff and customers 12 and older. You may not permit entry to anyone 12 and older who has not received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. You can make an exception for allowing customers to use the bathroom or for another reason that will take a small amount of time (for example, less than 10 minutes).

This policy is in effect as of August 17, and enforcement will begin on September 13. Businesses that do not comply with this policy will be subject to fines. If you are a small business and have questions about this policy, call NYC Department of Small Business Services hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).

Additional Resources 
Vaccination Required Poster for Businesses (PDF)
Key to NYC Business Flyer (PDF)
Executive Order for Key to NYC (August 25, 2021)
Watch: Key to NYC: Vaccination Mandate Conflict Resolution Training for Businesses


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One Response to "‘Key to NYC’ Unlocked: What You Need to Know About Accessing NYC’s Indoor Spaces"

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