NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) – New York City will drop a COVID shot mandate for indoor businesses next week, Mayor Eric Adams announced.
Adams said in a statement Sunday that the mandate will end March 7 as long as COVID numbers “show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week.” Other vaccination requirements, including for one for all employees in the city, will stay in effect, the Democrat said.
Adams also said that his administration will lift an indoor mask order for public schools next Monday, barring “unforeseen spikes.”
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced the citywide Key2NYC vaccine mandate for patrons of bars, restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues in August 2021.
Around 96 percent of adults in New York City are currently at least “partially vaccinated,” according to CNBC.
The city’s employer jab mandate still applies to Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, an unspoken opponent of the COVID-19 shots who refuses to get injected. Adams stressed Monday that he would not grant an exception to Irving, who remains unable to play home games due to his vaccination status.
“Businesses have their vaccine mandates, city employees have their vaccine mandates,” the mayor said on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. “It would send the wrong message just to have an exception for one player when we’re telling countless number of New York City employees, ‘If you don’t follow the rules, you won’t be able to be employed.’”
Unvaccinated players from other teams can play at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, however, according to NBA policy.
Adams’ partial reversal comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul let a statewide indoor mask mandate expire last month. The governor additionally said this morning that she would stop requiring schools to enforce masks as of Wednesday.
Hochul and Adams join a wave of Democratic officials across the country abruptly dropping mandates ahead of midterm elections while vowing to bring them back at any time depending on future COVID developments.
The White House said Monday that it will relax mask requirements for “fully vaccinated” people ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address. The U.S. House of Representatives similarly announced this weekend that masks will be optional on the House floor starting Tuesday.
And California Gov. Gavin Newsom said today that California, Oregon, and Washington will lift school mask mandates on March 11.
New York also follows several Democrat-led cities, including Seattle and Boston, that have dropped short-lived COVID vaccine mandates for businesses in recent days. Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ended a month-long jab requirements for restaurants and other public-facing businesses last month, though the shots will still be mandatory for school children in the district.
COVID inoculation does not stop the spread of the virus, and recent data has shown that “vaccinated” people have had higher infection rates than the unvaccinated and have driven unprecedented COVID-19 spikes around the world since the emergence of omicron.
The shots have repeatedly been linked to serious side effects, such as the immune disorder Guillain Barré Syndrome and potentially fatal heart conditions, like myocarditis. COVID remains a treatable illness for most people who contract it, with an estimated survival rate of 99.7 percent or higher for those under age 60.