New Yorkers interviewed by Reuters on Monday were largely backing the push by the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms and other businesses.
The policy is set to launch Tuesday as the delta variant continues to make progress.
With vaccines widely available, political leaders were combating the latest surge in infections with shots and masks rather than ordering businesses to close and Americans to stay home as they did last year.
The U.S. government and several states, along with some hospitals and universities, already require employees to get inoculated to combat the virus that has killed over 600,000 in the country.
And denizens of New York City say they are looking forward to joining the club.
“It’s a great message,” Anthony Tapia, an area landscaper, said. “The virus is “going to grow faster, the quicker people are not vaccinated.”
New York City’s policy requires proof of at least one dose and will be enforced starting Sept. 13.
Like mask mandates and last year’s stay-at-home orders, the plan is destined to meet stiff resistance. Those interviewed by Reuters acknowdged the leap of faith for many.
“It’s a little bit of an extreme situation,” West Village barber Roman Khaimov said. “But if it collectively will make a difference for the time being, I think they should do it.”
Roughly 60% of all New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to city data. But certain areas, largely poor communities and communities of color, have much lower vaccination rates.