On November 1st New York City will lift its COVID-19 vaccine mandate on all private sector businesses. But, NYC will still require all city employees to be vaccinated.

Mayor Eric Adams made the announcement Tuesday, as another indication the city is slowly returning to pre-pandemic status.

How Did NYC Get Here?

The requirement for private businesses to mandate vaccines started in December 2021. During the second installation of the virus called Omicron, which started to take hundreds of lives in New York City at that time. New York is the largest city in the country to enforce mandatory vaccinations to all employees in the workplace.

Workers who refused to be vaccinated were let go from their jobs. It even had an effect on professional sports as a few star players also refused to be vaccinated such as Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. Although eventually, Adams exempted players and celebrities from the mandate.

Unsplash | Daniel Schludi

The announcement was made as Mayor Eric Adams was receiving his own COVID-19 booster shot. Business owners can continue mandating that workers be vaccinated as part of the hiring process.

“This puts the choice in the hands of New York businesses,” stated Adams.

Municipal Workers Must Be Vaccinated

Most city workers, police, firefighters, and teachers will be required to show proof of vaccination. The city is still in the process of releasing workers who have not taken any vaccines towards the virus.

“We’re in a steady phase of pivot and shift. We do things, we roll things out slowly. Right now, that is not on the radar for us,” said Adams.

Kathy Hochul, governor of New York announced earlier this month that masks were no longer mandatory in public places. As well as no longer required to be worn on the subway and other means of public transportation.