NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will lift its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private-sector employers on Nov. 1, Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday in another sign of the city’s gradual return to pre-pandemic norms.
The city began requiring almost all private businesses to ban unvaccinated employees from the workplace in December 2021, just as the Omicron wave began claiming hundreds of lives in the city. It remains the largest place in the U.S. to have made vaccines mandatory as a workplace safety measure.
Some workers who refused the shots were fired. The mandate also grabbed attention for its potential impact on professional sports, though just before the Yankees and Mets began their seasons, Adams gave a special exemption to athletes and entertainers. Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving had famously been barred from playing in home games because of the city’s vaccine rules.
Adams, a Democrat, announced the relaxation of the rules at a City Hall news conference where he got his own updated COVID-19 booster shot. Employers will be free to continue requiring workers to get vaccinated as a condition of employment.
(AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, File)