Daily Column – 7th December 2021

Covid-19 vaccination will be required for all employees in New York City belonging to the private sector, from Wall Street traders to Times Square Power Rangers, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who announced the requirement in a press conference yesterday.

In justification for the new rule (which de Blasio claims is a “first-in-the-nation” measure), the mayor stated that the spread of Delta combined with the incoming Omicron variant combined with increased indoor activities during the winter months equals a potent combination that could potentially lead to an increase in the already worsening Covid numbers in the city in the coming months.

Employees at the city’s 184,000 enterprises will be required to receive at least one dosage of the vaccination by Dec. 27 or face disciplinary action. Testing options  can not be used as a substitute.
New York City already demands proof of immunisation for adults in order to attend eateries, exercise at gymnasiums, or watch the Knicks play, but the city is increasing those restrictions as well: Starting on December 14, children ages 5–11 will be required to show their vaccination cards in order to engage in indoor activities.

Business organisations are fighting back.

“We were completely taken by surprise,” said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City. “There’s no forewarning, no discussion, no clue whether or not it’s legal, and no idea who he expects to police it,” says the author. Wylde went on to say that the rule was harmful to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to bring workers back to work and reinvigorate business districts in New York City (the vax mandate only applies to employees who work in-person).

“This isn’t my problem,” Mayor Bill de Blasio is likely thinking. His office has stated that he will “review” the policy when he takes over on January 1. Bitcoin bull and certified party animal Eric Adams will take over on January 1.

Broadly speaking, while NYC is pushing ahead with a private-sector vaccination requirement, Vice President Joe Biden’s government mandate has struck an impasse in the courts. A federal appeals court has halted the implementation of that measure, which would have applied to all businesses with 100 or more employees and was scheduled to take effect on January 4.

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