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The Key to NYC program requires employees and customers 12 and older to prove they are vaccinated before entering businesses conducting the following activities:

  • Indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness
  • Indoor entertainment

The mandate began on August 17th and enforcement will begin on September 13th.

Learn more about the Key to NYC program.

How to Comply

Customers and employees must show proof of vaccination and an ID with the same identifying information as their proof. Contractors are also required to provide proof if they reside in New York City.

One dose of any vaccine approved for emergency use or fully approved by either the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization will meet the vaccination mandate. This includes Pfizer BioNTech (also known as Comirnaty, which is pronounced "koe-mir-na-tee"), Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Businesses must check the proof of vaccination and identification for employees and customers and have:

  • One visible Vaccination Required Poster for Businesses in the window explaining the mandate.
  • Two written policies available upon inspection covering how the business plans to perform vaccine checks. This should include how you will check the vaccination status of staff AND customers before they enter or immediately after they enter your business.

The following are acceptable as proof of COVID-19 vaccination:​

  • CDC Vaccination Card (or photo)
  • NYC Vaccination Record
  • Excelsior Pass App
  • NYC COVID Safe App
  • An official immunization record from outside NYC or the U.S

If you received the vaccine outside the U.S., you must have an official immunization record that includes:

  • First name and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Vaccine product name (only vaccines authorized by the WHO are acceptable)
  • Date(s) administered
  • Site where the vaccine was administered, or name of the person who administered it

To learn more about accepted forms of proof, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Record page.

These types of facilities must follow the vaccine mandate:

Indoor Dining 

  • Bakeries
  • Bars
  • Cabarets
  • Cafeterias
  • Catering halls
  • Coffee shops
  • Event spaces
  • Fast food/quick service with indoor dining
  • Grocery stores with indoor dining
  • Hotel banquet rooms
  • Nightclubs
  • Restaurants

Indoor Fitness

  • Dance studios
  • Fitness centers
  • Fitness classes
  • Gyms
  • Indoor studios
  • Pools
  • Sports classes

Indoor Entertainment

  • Adult entertainment
  • Aquariums and zoos
  • Arcades
  • Bowling alleys
  • Casinos
  • Convention centers
  • Exhibition halls
  • Indoor play areas
  • Indoor stadiums
  • Movie theaters
  • Museums and galleries
  • Music and concert venues
  • Performing arts theaters
  • Pool and billiard halls
  • Professional sports arenas
  • Recreational game centers

The following exceptions are not covered by the mandate:

  • Residential and office buildings.
  • Dining where food is consumed offsite or outdoors only. For example, fast food and quick service facilities with no indoor dining.
  • Anyone entering for a minimum amount of time required for a limited purpose will not have to show proof of vaccination. For example, entering to use the bathroom or picking up or placing an order.

When implementing this new rule, business owners:

  1. Cannot treat customers or employees differently because of any characteristic protected by the NYC Human Rights Law, including: 
    • Race 
    • National origin
    • Disability
    • Gender
    • Religion/Creed
    • Age
  2. Must provide reasonable accommodations to customers who need them because of a disability. 
  3. Must provide reasonable accommodations to employees who require them because of any of the following:
    • Disability
    • Pregnancy/Lactation
    • Religious belief
    • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sex offenses

However, the business does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation if doing so would create a direct threat to other customers or employees of the business or impose an undue hardship on the business.

Learn more about implementing the new rule fairly.

Learn more about customer and employee rights.

Report Discrimination

If you believe you have been a victim of discrimination or if a business has denied a reasonable accommodation, you can make a complaint:


Submit an inquiry about discrimination.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.






If you are a small business with questions about this policy, the NYC Department of Small Business Services can help.

  • Agency: Small Business Services
  • Division: NYC Business Restart Hotline
  • Phone Number: (888) 727-4692
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM