NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s “Key to NYC Pass” took effect Tuesday, meaning people must show proof of vaccination for certain indoor activities.

The mandate applies to both customers and staff, ages 12 and older. You need at least one dose of the COVID vaccine to be allowed inside.

Where Do You Need Proof Of Vaccination?

Indoor dining: Restaurants, catering halls, event spaces, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, grocery stores with indoor dining, coffee shops and fast food or quick service with indoor dining

Indoor fitness: Gyms, fitness centers, fitness classes, pools, indoor studios and dance studios

Indoor entertainment: Movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums and galleries, aquariums and zoos, professional sports arenas, indoor stadiums, convention centers, exhibition halls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, pool and billiard halls, recreational game centers, adult entertainment and indoor play areas

How Do You Show Proof Of Vaccination?

The mandate may not be used as an excuse for businesses to discriminate against anyone with valid proof of vaccination. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, national origin or disability, click here to contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

Information For Businesses

You are required to check proof of vaccination for customers 12 and older, and may not allow those who have not received at least one dose inside, unless they are using the bathroom or for another reason that may take less than 10 minutes.

The policy takes effect August 17, and enforcement will begin September 13. Businesses that do not comply are subject to a $1,000 fine.

To prepare for the policy: 

  • Hang a Vaccination Required Poster for Businesses (PDF) somewhere that is clearly visible to customers before they enter
  • Familiarize yourself with the accepted proofs of vaccination
  • Write a plan about how you will check the vaccination status of your staff and customers before they come inside or immediately after they enter
  • Help your staff get vaccinated by hanging posters in break rooms and providing information about where to get a shot
  • If you have questions, call the NYC Department of Small Business Services hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692)

Web Extra: Click here to report a fake vaccine card

You can also call 311, NYC-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226), or email

Web Extra: Click here for more details, including guidance in other languages


CBSNewYork Team