NYC restaurants set to require vaccine passports for all indoor dining

Soon your vaccine passport will provide access to most indoor activities

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

New York City government officials have issued new guidelines regarding vaccination requirements. If you are looking to plan a night out, you’ll need to have proof of vaccination to do indoor activities like dining in at restaurants and going to the gym.

Starting August 16, anyone looking to dine indoors, go to the gym, or participate in most indoor activities, like attending a Broadway show, will need to show proof of vaccination. Strict enforcement of this new mandate won’t begin until September 13 though, to give businesses a grace period for planning. This comes as a surge in COVID-19 cases spreads across the country due to the highly contagious Delta Variant. 

The new rules follow many other businesses, even Google and Facebook will require staff to be vaccinated before they can return to office. This helped influence the city to also require vaccinations for indoor activities in order to help protect those most at risk.

Covid-19 Vaccination Record Cards during a Care For The Homeless vaccination event at the Health Center of Susan's Place Shelter For Women in the Bronx borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

(Image credit: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Minors under 12 that are ineligible to receive the vaccine will be able to go into indoor areas as long as they are masked. Their parents also must be able to show proof of vaccination before entry. You also only need at least one dose of the vaccine to be granted access but that doesn’t mean the risks of skipping the second Covid vaccine dose will go away. There are also several apps available instead of using your card every time to prove vaccine status.

New York has also become the first major city in the country to take these measurements. The city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, even took to Twitter on August 3rd to confirm the announcement.

“If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated. It’s time,” he wrote. “You’ll need proof of #COVID19 vaccination for indoor dining, indoor gyms, and indoor concerts and performances in New York City. This is a lifesaving mandate to keep our city safe.”

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Why does New York require vaccine passports?

Proof of vaccination can come in the form of an official vaccine passport, copy of your official vaccination record, the NYC Covid Safe app, or the state’s Excelsior Pass. A COVID-19 vaccine passport is a paper or digital form that certifies a person has been vaccinated against a certain disease or virus. The official card is handed out after a person receives their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

If you prefer not to carry around your official vaccine passport, then there are a couple electronic vaccine passport apps that you can use. To show your digital vaccine passport, you can either download the NYC Covid Safe app, which allows you to upload your photo ID, vaccination card, and any negative Covid test results from the prior week. Another option is the NY state Excelsior Pass which verifies your vaccination status using a state database. Instead of scrolling through old photos to get to your vaccine passport, these apps make it easier and faster to show proof of vaccination.

This new mandate may become the new normal as we begin to navigate an increase in Delta Variant cases. Precautions should still be taken and for those traveling, the CDC thinks you should avoid certain Delta Variant states, especially if you’re unvaccinated.

Rylee Johnston
Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life who primarily covers lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. At times, she also reports on beauty, royals, entertainment, health, and travel. The latest fashion and beauty trends, along with any quirky travel destinations are her favorite topics to write about. 


Before coming to woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee originally studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.


When she’s not writing articles, you can find her testing out one of the many restaurants New York City has to offer and planning her next travel destination. Her other hobbies also include hiking, ballet, yoga, and reading practically any book TikTok recommends.