Cuomo asks businesses to go to ‘vaccine-only admission’

Cecilia Nysing

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo kicked off ActBlue fundraising platform Cuomo impeachment inquiry nearing completion, chairman says Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE (D) on Monday said he has asked private businesses to only offer admission to patrons who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, contending that it is “in your best business interest” to adopt the new policy.

“Private businesses, I am asking them and suggesting to them: Go to vaccine-only admission. Go to vaccine-only admission. We did this, Radio City Music Hall, months ago. Reopened vaccine-only, sold out all the shows. Sports arenas. They went up to about 90 percent vaccine-only. Private businesses, bars, restaurants. Go to a vaccine-only admission. I believe it’s in your best business interest,” Cuomo said during a news conference.

Cuomo said he thinks implementing “vaccine-only admission” will help incentivize New Yorkers to get inoculated.

“If you say to people, ‘Well, if you don’t have a vaccine, you can’t get into these establishments,’ then you will see a real incentive to get vaccinated,” he said.

Cuomo also urged local governments to adopt the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week that urges vaccinated Americans to wear masks in “public, indoor settings” in parts of the country with “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission.

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioGroup of 10 D.C. theaters to require vaccinations for entry Los Angeles considering requiring coronavirus vaccines for indoor activities Boston mayor compares vaccine passports to documentation required during slavery, birtherism MORE (D) stopped short of ordering a mask mandate in the city on Monday but sent a “strong recommendation” to all residents to wear masks in public indoor facilities.

Cuomo’s push comes as the country is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, driven largely by the highly infectious delta variant that has become the dominant strain in the U.S.

The number of New Yorkers who tested positive for COVID-19 slightly increased in the past five days, before falling on Sunday to 2,516 people, according to the state’s COVID-19 tracker.

New York was the first state in the U.S. to implement a vaccine passport. The Excelsior Pass, as of late May, had been downloaded more than 1 million times since it was launched in March.

Cuomo said that while the mask policy “will be important,” he does not believe such an effort “is going to be enough.” He said he thinks discussions about a “vaccination policy” will have to start.

“What does that mean? Well, we’ve taken the first step [as a state] … which is you either have to get a vaccine or a weekly test. That’s the first step, but it’s only the first. And that I believe we need to expand,” Cuomo said.

The governor last month announced that New York will require state employees to be vaccinated or get tested weekly, starting Sept. 6, Reuters reported.

He said that while the policy is “controversial,” he thinks it “should be extended” to other public hospitals.

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