New York City Will Lift Vaccination Mandates For Athletes And Performers, But Public And Private Workers Still Must Comply

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving will be able to play at home court Barclay’s Center in the NBA playoffs. Aaron Judge and Max Scherzer will take the field at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field soon for the New York Yankees and Mets, respectively.

That’s the upshot of an anticipated announcement on Thursday by New York Mayor Eric Adams. He is expected to lift proof of vaccination requirements for professional athletes and performers working in New York City, which means Irving and other unvaccinated performers can get to work.

The Adams move will remove absurdities in the application of the mandates. Visiting athletes in the NBA were not subject to vaccination requirements that Irving was expected to meet, and it was okay for Irving to practice and sit in the stands during games. But taking the floor was forbidden.

While sports fans rejoiced at the news, municipal and private company workers will have to continue with the vaccination proofs. That has already led to layoffs and dismissals throughout the city, and a strain on restaurants, bars and other businesses that rely on a robust workforce.

The move by Adams is a surprise, since he previously showed disdain for the idea that Irving was locked out of the playoffs through the bureaucracy. At one point, he reponded to a media question on Irving by saying, “Kyrie can play tomorrow. Get vaccinated.”

The news was first reported by Politico.

Adams recently ended mask mandates for schools, restaurants and gyms.

Mr. Adams, who has been singularly focused on the city’s recovery from the pandemic, has ended other restrictions as coronavirus cases dropped over the last month. He recently ended a mask mandate for schools and a proof-of-vaccination policy for restaurants and gyms.

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