NEW YORK — Looking to fly from the Sunshine State to the Big Apple? Make sure to pack your vaccine card.
New York City now requires proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of indoor activities, including dining, gyms, movies, concerts, and Broadway performances.
The program, which began on Aug. 16, is the first of its kind in the U.S. It marks an effort by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to get more people vaccinated against the virus.
“If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” the mayor said at a news conference via The New York Times. “It’s time.”
Although Florida continues to see record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, this may be a change of pace for some Floridians traveling to New York. Many in the Sunshine State are used to Gov. Ron DeSantis' no-lockdown policies, which have allowed businesses to remain open mostly without pandemic-related restrictions.
And showing proof of vaccination for indoor activities is something we won't likely see in Florida. DeSantis signed an executive order in April banning "vaccine passports," saying they would "reduce individual freedom" and "harm patient privacy."
For travelers who would prefer not to carry their paper vaccine card around New York City, there are other options.
People vaccinated anywhere in the U.S. can download the NYC COVID Safe App. It allows you to upload a photo of your vaccination card which can be shown in lieu of the real thing.
Only people vaccinated in the state of New York can use the Excelsior pass, which confirms vaccination against city and state records.
But if you're not sure, your safest bet is to bring along your CDC-issued paper vaccination card.