When De Blasio’s Vaccination Passport Plan Went Into Effect Yesterday, One-Quarter of Adult New Yorkers Were Barred From Going Out
Last night, there weren’t any street brawls on Manhattan’s 8th Avenue. There wasn’t mass civil disobedience in the streets. People didn’t storm the doors or throw punches at bouncers, at least not where I was (Staten Island might’ve been a better bet for glimpsing such impassioned encounters). People’s vows of resistance had proved toothless, for it was essentially a normal night out in Manhattan—except for the 25 percent of New Yorkers for whom going out was prohibited due to them being unvaccinated.
At the beginning of this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would be forcing pretty much all indoor dining, drinking, and entertainment venues—movie theaters, strip clubs, concert venues, museums, zoos, sports arenas, arcades, and pool halls, for example—to check for proof of vaccination from patrons. Businesses that refuse to comply will be saddled with fines of $1,000 for a first violation, which doubles on their second violation, and $5,000 each time they break the rules after that. Enforcement will start on September 13, but the order went into effect last night.
In the weeks since the executive was first announced, there’s been a noticeable rise in venues checking vaccination status. When I went last week to Ramona in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, they asked for proof of vaccination status before allowing entry. Last night, the tiki bar Jungle Bird on 8th Ave. asked for proof of vaccination; shortly after presenting it, my party shared a communal bowl of the bar’s eponymous drink, the likes of which would strike fear in the hearts of public health authorities. Art Bar, where several patrons were graphically sucking face on the back patio, also asked for proof.
Another bar on 8th Ave.—which shall remain nameless, since snitches get stitches—either forgot, was unaware of the rules, or happy to flout them. The doofy but friendly bartender seemed more interested in telling me, my husband, and our two friends about football fandom than making sure we were all in compliance with the city’s new orders.
And when I asked one heavily accented bouncer, upon leaving a differ
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