New York [US], August 3 (ANI): New York City will require proof of vaccination for workers and customers at indoor restaurants and gyms, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced on Tuesday.
The policy, which appears to be the first of its kind in the US, comes amid a nationwide spike in COVID-19 infections, driven largely by the spread of the delta variant in people who are unvaccinated.
The "Key to NYC Pass" program will begin August 16, and enforcement will begin September 13, de Blasio said during a press conference.
"It's time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary for living a full and happy life," de Blasio said.
While other major cities, including Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have all recently reimposed mask mandates.
Meanwhile, the US state of Florida is becoming the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country as new cases have been surging recently.
According to the weekly report from the state's health department, Florida reported 110,477 new cases from July 23 to 29, which is about a 50 per cent increase from the 73,196 cases in the week before.
A few months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told fully vaccinated people that they no longer needed to wear masks in most settings, and the White House had pitched the lead up to the July 4 holiday as a "summer of freedom" to celebrate the progress made fighting the virus.
Cases have risen across the country in recent weeks with the spread of the delta variant, causing alarm among many public health experts that the US is regressing in its fight against the pandemic.
The US is on track to witness 200,000 daily COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, the former US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director told CNN.
"We're heading into a rough time. It's likely, if our trajectory is similar to that in the United Kingdom, that we could see as many as 200,000 cases a day," Tom Frieden said on Monday. (ANI)