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Emergency Executive Order 226

August 20, 2021

Download Emergency Executive Order 226

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted New York City and its economy, and is addressed effectively only by joint action of the City, State, and Federal governments; and 

WHEREAS, the state of emergency to address the threat and impacts of COVID-19 in the City of New York first declared in Emergency Executive Order No. 98, and extended most recently by Emergency Executive Order No. 220, remains in effect; and

WHEREAS, this Order is given because of the propensity of the virus to spread person-to-person, and also because the actions taken to prevent such spread have led to property loss and damage;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) reports that new variants of COVID-19, classified as “variants of concern,” are present in the United States;

WHEREAS, some of these new variants currently account for the majority of COVID-19 cases sequenced in New York City and are much more transmissible than earlier variants;

WHEREAS, the CDC has stated that vaccination is the most effective tool to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect against severe illness;

WHEREAS, the CDC has also stated that vaccination benefits both vaccine recipients and those with whom they come into contact, including individuals who are ineligible for the vaccine due to age, health or other conditions;

WHEREAS, the recent appearance in the City of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 has substantially increased the risk of infection;

WHEREAS, indoor entertainment, recreation, dining and fitness settings generally involve groups of unassociated people interacting for a substantial period of time and requiring vaccination for all individuals in these areas, including workers, will protect the public health, promote public safety, and save the lives of not just those vaccinated individuals but the public at large;

WHEREAS, 56% of City residents are fully vaccinated and 62% of residents have received at least one dose, and mandating vaccinations at the types of establishments that residents frequent will incentivize vaccinations, increasing the City’s vaccination rates and saving lives; and

WHEREAS, a study by Yale University demonstrated that the City’s vaccination campaign was estimated to have prevented about 250,000 COVID-19 cases, 44,000 hospitalizations and 8,300 deaths from COVID-19 infection since the start of vaccination through July 1, 2021, and the City believes the number of prevented cases, hospitalizations and death has risen since then; and that between January 1, 2021, and June 15, 2021, over 98% of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 infection involved those who were not fully vaccinated;

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the laws of the State of New York and the City of New York, including but not limited to the New York Executive Law, the New York City Charter and the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and the common law authority to protect the public in the event of an emergency:

Section 1. I hereby direct that section 1 of Emergency Executive Order No. 224, dated August 15, 2021, is extended for five (5) days.

§ 2. I hereby direct that sections 1 through 11 of Emergency Executive Order No. 225, dated August 16, 2021 shall be superseded in their entirety by the following provisions:

  1. This section shall be known as the Key to NYC program.
  2. I hereby order that a covered entity shall not permit a patron, full- or part-time employee, intern, volunteer, or contractor to enter a covered premises without displaying proof of vaccination and identification bearing the same identifying information as the proof of vaccination.
  3. I hereby order that the following individuals are exempted from this section, and therefore may enter a covered premises without displaying proof of vaccination, provided that such individuals wear a face mask at all times when they are unable to maintain six (6) feet of distance from other individuals inside the covered premises:
    1. Individuals entering for a quick and limited purpose (for example, using the restroom, placing or picking up an order or service, changing clothes in a locker room, or performing necessary repairs);
    2. A nonresident performing artist not regularly employed by the covered entity, or a nonresident individual accompanying such a performing artist, while the performing artist or individual is in a covered premises for the purposes of such artist’s performance; and
    3. A nonresident professional athlete/sports team that is not based in New York City (i.e., not a New York City “home team”), or a nonresident individual accompanying such professional athlete/sports team, who enters a covered premises as part of their regular employment for purposes of the professional athlete/sports team competition.
  4. I hereby direct each covered entity to develop and keep a written record describing the covered entity’s protocol for implementing and enforcing the requirements of this section. Such written record shall be available for inspection upon a request of a City official as allowed by law.
  5. I hereby direct each covered entity to post a sign in a conspicuous place that is viewable by prospective patrons prior to entering the establishment. The sign must alert patrons to the vaccination requirement in this section and inform them that employees and patrons are required to be vaccinated. The Department for Health and Mental Hygiene (“DOHMH”) shall determine the text of such sign and provide a template on its website that a covered entity may use. A covered entity may use the sign available online at, or use its own sign provided its sign must be no smaller than 8.5 inches by 11 inches, with text provided by DOHMH in at least 14-point font.
  6. For the purposes of this Order:
    1. “Contractor” means the owner or employee of any business that a covered entity has hired to perform work within a covered premise.
    2. “Covered entity” means any entity that operates one or more covered premises, except that it shall not include pre-kindergarten through grade twelve (12) public and non-public schools and programs, houses of worship, child care programs, senior centers, community centers, or as otherwise indicated by this Order.
    3. “Covered premises” means any location, except a location in a residential or office building the use of which is limited to residents, owners, or tenants of that building, that is used for the following purposes:
      1. Indoor Entertainment and Recreational Settings, including indoor portions of the following locations, regardless of the activity at such locations: movie theaters, music or concert venues, adult entertainment, casinos, botanical gardens, commercial event and party venues, museums, aquariums, zoos, professional sports arenas and indoor stadiums, convention centers and exhibition halls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor play areas, pool and billiard halls, and other recreational game centers;
      2. Indoor Food Services, including indoor portions of food service establishments offering food and drink, including all indoor dining areas of food service establishments that receive letter grades as described in section 81.51 of the Health Code; businesses operating indoor seating areas of food courts; catering food service establishments that provide food indoors on its premises; and any indoor portions of an establishment that is regulated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets offering food for on-premises indoor consumption. The requirements of this Order shall not apply to any establishment offering food or drink exclusively for off-premises or outdoor consumption, or to a food service establishment providing only charitable food services, such as soup kitchens;
      3. Indoor Gyms and Fitness Settings, including indoor portions of standalone and hotel gyms and fitness centers, gyms and fitness centers in higher education institutions, yoga/Pilates/barre/dance studios, boxing/kickboxing gyms, fitness boot camps, indoor pools, CrossFit or other plyometric boxes, and other facilities used for conducting group fitness classes.
    4. “Indoor portion” means any part of a covered premises with a roof or overhang that is enclosed by at least three walls, except that the following will not be considered an indoor portion: (1) a structure on the sidewalk or roadway if it is entirely open on the side facing the sidewalk; and (2) an outdoor dining structure for individual parties, such as a plastic dome, if it has adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation.
    5. “Nonresident” means any individual who is not a resident of New York City.
    6. “Patron” means any individual 12 years of age or older who patronizes, enters, attends an event, or purchases goods or services within a covered premise.
    7. “Identification” means an official document bearing the name of the individual and a photo or date of birth.  Examples of acceptable identification include but are not limited to: driver’s license, non-driver government ID card, IDNYC, passport, and school ID card.
    8. “Proof of vaccination” means proof of receipt of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use or licensed for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization. Such proof may be established by:
      1. A CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or an official immunization record from the jurisdiction, state, or country where the vaccine was administered or a digital or physical photo of such a card or record, reflecting the person’s name, vaccine brand, and date administered; or
      2. A New York City COVID Safe Pass (available to download on Apple and Android smartphone devices); or
      3. A New York State Excelsior Pass.
  7. I hereby direct that each instance that a covered entity fails to check an individual’s vaccination status shall constitute a separate violation of this section.
  8. I hereby direct the City’s Commission on Human Rights to develop guidance to assist covered entities in complying with this section in an equitable manner consistent with applicable provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law.
  9. I hereby direct, in accordance with section 25 of the Executive Law, that staff from any agency as may hereafter be designated by the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene shall enforce the directives set forth in this section.
  10. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of any subsequent emergency executive order continuing this section:
    1. I hereby direct that any person or entity who is determined to have violated this section shall be subject to a fine, penalty and forfeiture of not less than $1,000. If the person or entity is determined to have committed a subsequent violation of this section within twelve months of the initial violation for which a penalty was assessed, such person or entity shall be subject to a fine, penalty and forfeiture of not less than $2,000. For every violation thereafter, such person or entity shall be subject to a fine, penalty and forfeiture of not less than $5,000 if the person or entity committed the violation within twelve months of the violation for which the second penalty was assessed. This section may be enforced pursuant to sections 3.05, 3.07, or 3.11 of the Health Code and sections 558 and 562 of the Charter.
    2. I hereby suspend: (i) Appendix 7-A of Chapter 7 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York to the extent it would limit a violation of this section to be punished with a standard penalty of $1,000 or a default penalty of $2,000; and (ii) section 7-08 of such Chapter 7 and section 3.11 of the Health Code, to the extent such provisions would limit the default penalty amount that may be imposed for a violation of this section to $2,000.
  11. 11. Covered entities shall comply with further guidelines issued by DOHMH to further the intent of this section and increase the number of vaccinated individuals in the City.

§ 3. I hereby direct the Fire and Police Departments, the Department of Buildings, the Sheriff, and other agencies as needed, to enforce the directives set forth in section 1 of this Order in accordance with their lawful authorities, including Administrative Code sections 15-227(a), 28-105.10.1, and 28-201.1, and section 107.6 of the Fire Code. Violations of the directives set forth in section 1 of this Order may be issued as if they were violations under the Health Code sections 3.07 and 3.11, and enforced by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or any other agency.

§ 4. This Emergency Executive Order shall take effect immediately, except that paragraph 10 of section 2 of this Order shall take effect on September 13, 2021.

Bill de Blasio,