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New York City announces vaccine requirement for museum visitors and staff

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health) has announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for indoor activities, including all visits to museums and galleries.

NYC Health’s policy came into effect yesterday and enforcement will begin on September 13, with fines issued for those businesses who do not comply.

In its online statement, it said: “If your business is covered by this requirement, you will be required to check the vaccination status of all staff and customers 12 and older. You may not permit entry to anyone 12 and older who has not received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

It added that exceptions could be made for visitors who wished to use the bathroom or for other reasons that would take less than 10 minutes.

The Met one of first to comply

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the first museums to comply with the new mandate and will begin asking for vaccination proof from tomorrow.

In a statement on its website it said: “Beginning August 19, the Museum requires all visitors over the age of 12 to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Masks are required for all visitors.”

The Delta variant is spreading quickly in the city and it is hoped this new requirement, called the Key to NYC, will encourage more people to get vaccinated with 56% of the city’s adult population currently vaccinated.

In Europe Italy announced plans to introduce a ‘green pass’ for entry to museums on 6 August following France, which from last month required over 18s to provide a ‘health pass’ to access museums. In May Denmark’s ‘coronapas’ became essential for museum visits.

About the author – Adrian Murphy

Adrian is the Editor of MuseumNext and has 20 years’ experience as a journalist, half of which has been writing for the cultural sector.

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