Covid: Children aged 5 to 11 will need vaccine proof for restaurants and cinemas in NYC

Omicron and winter weather were cited as reasons by mayor Bill de Blasio

Monday 06 December 2021 18:08 GMT
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Children aged five to 11 will be asked for proof of a Covid vaccination before being allowed into locations in New York City including restaurants and cinemas, mayor Bill de Blasio has announced.

All children aged five and above will be asked to show that they are vaccinated in the city from 14 December, Mr de Blasio said. Although unlike adults at the moment, only one shot will be required.

Children aged five to 11 have been eligible for Covid vaccinations for about four weeks, although the threat of a new Covid variant was cited as a “new factor” by Mr de Blasio on Monday.

Admitting that the omicron variant of Covid was a concern, the mayor said the colder weather and holiday mixing were also factors considered in his restrictions for New Yorkers, in an interview with MSNBC.

He said: “We’ve got the colder weather, which is going to really create new challenges with the Delta variant. We’ve got holiday gatherings”.

“We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of Covid and the dangers it poses to all of us.”

According to the city’s Department for Education, more than 40,000 children aged five to 11 have so far received a Covid vaccine at New York City schools.

Danielle Filson, Mr De Blasio’s press secretary, told Newsweek that as few as 20 per cent of children aged five to 11 are currently vaccinated, meaning many parents will have around eight days to vaccinate their children before the restrictions are introduced.

Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, said rates of infection were highest among the five to 11 age group.

Adults and children aged above 12 will meanwhile be asked for proof of being fully vaccinated, or two doses, from 14 December.

As will all employees of the private sector be asked to comply with the city’s incoming vaccine mandate, which Mr de Blasio described as a first for the US. That comes into effect from 27 Decmeber.

It comes after city employees were mandated to do so.

Other cities and states in the US have introduced less extensive measures to control Covid, and US President Joe Biden has faced legal difficulties in implementing his own requirement for private firms.

Omicron, the new Covid variant, is believed to be responsible for a number of the new cases of Covid seen in the US in recent days, and which has hit the Midwest and Northeast.

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