In August 2021, New York City implemented a vaccine passport program, dubbed the “Key to NYC,” which required indoor dining, fitness, recreation and entertainment venues in NYC to verify that staff and guests ages 5 and older are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of entry.  But waning positivity and hospitalization rates augur further changes for Big Apple employers.

Effective March 7, 2022, and barring an unanticipated spike in cases, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is expected to scrap Key to NYC, simultaneously with the City’s mask mandate for public school students.  The City will make its final decision Friday, March 4, 2022.

The City’s announcement follows New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s lifting of the statewide mask or vaccine mandate, effective February 10, 2022.  The NYS mandate required mask wearing in any indoor business or venue in NY, unless the business or venue implemented a policy requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of entry.

New York joins the wave of state and local jurisdictions across the country rolling back COVID-related mandates, as outlined below:

Vaccine Passport Program Mask Mandate
Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN – 2.10.2022

Vaccine-or-testing requirement to enter food and drink venues lifted in both cities.

District of Columbia – 2.15.2022

Requirement that individuals show proof of vaccination as a condition of entry at most indoor venues is lifted.

Philadelphia, PA – 2.16.2022

Restaurants no longer required to verify vaccination status as a condition of entry.

San Francisco, CA – 2.16.2022

Businesses may, as an alternative to checking proof of vaccination status, accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test as a condition of entry.

Boston, MA – 2.18.2022

Boston’s vaccine passport program requiring proof of vaccine as a condition of entry into indoor businesses was lifted.

Chicago, IL – 2.28.2022

Requirement that individuals show proof of vaccination to enter most indoor settings in Chicago was lifted.

Los Angeles County, CA – 2.25.2022

Remains in effect, but businesses may now choose between requiring proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test as a condition of entry.

King County/Seattle, WA – 3.1.2022

Vaccine-or-test mandate is lifted.

New York City, NY – 3.7.2022 (tentative)

“Key to NYC” program will expire.

Denver, CO – 2.3.2022

Indoor mask mandate in City and County of Denver lifted.

New York State – 2.10.2022

NYS lifts statewide indoor mask or vaccination requirement.

California – 2.15.2022

State of California lifts indoor mask mandate for vaccinated individuals only.

San Francisco, CA – 2.16.2022

Mask mandate modified to allow fully vaccinated individuals to remove masks while indoors.

Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN – 2.24.2022

Indoor mask mandates lifted in both cities.

Los Angeles County, CA – 2.25.2022

Businesses may either (i) allow fully vaccinated customers and staff to unmask, or (ii) allow only fully vaccinated customers to unmask, while keeping staff masked.

Unvaccinated individuals must continue wearing masks.

Illinois – 2.28.2022

Indoor mask mandate lifted statewide.

Chicago, IL – 2.28.2022

Indoor mask mandate lifted.

District of Columbia  – 2.28.2022

Mask mandate applicable to indoor businesses expired.

California – 3.1.2022

Mask guidance updated – indoor masking will no longer be required for unvaccinated individuals.

King County/Seattle, WA – 3.11.2022

Indoor mask mandate will end.

Oregon – 3-12.2022

Statewide indoor mask mandate will be lifted

Washington State – 3.12.2022

Statewide indoor mask mandate will be lifted.

Mayor Adams maintains that all other NYC vaccine mandates will remain in place, including the City’s private-sector vaccine mandate, which we previously wrote about here.

As with all COVID-19 orders, more information is expected and things are fluid.  Please feel free to reach out to any member of our team if you have questions about the mask and/or vaccine mandates in your jurisdiction.