Beginning August 16, New York City will require all staff and clients of indoor dining, entertainment and fitness facilities to provide proof they have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
This new citywide order will be phased in, meaning we all will be able to take the next few weeks to adjust to the new rules, which are still being finalized and expected to be released next week. Full enforcement doesn’t begin until September 13.
Because nearly 100% of Living Yoga’s current clients and staff have already provided proof of vaccination, this new city mandate should only be a minor inconvenience for most people.
Q & A
1. WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF VACCINATION?
According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, you may use 1) your actual vaccine card; 2) the New York State Excelsior Pass; or 3) the new New York City COVID Safe App to prove you have received your vaccine shot.
2. I’VE ALREADY SHOWN MY PROOF OF VACCINATION. WILL I NEED TO DO IT AGAIN?
Still unclear. If the new rules merely require us to record you have shown your proof, we will already be in compliance. However, if the new rules require us to collect additional information, you may have to show us your records again.
3. DO I HAVE TO SHOW YOU MY VACCINE RECORDS EVERY TIME I TAKE A CLASS IN THE STUDIO?
Also unclear. Hopefully, this will be addressed when the final rules come out.
4. IS THERE A RELIGIOUS OR MEDICAL EXEMPTION TO THE VACCINE REQUIREMENT?
We also don’t know the answer to this yet. We will sort everything out once the final rules are released.
5. I HAVEN’T RECEIVED MY SECOND SHOT YET. CAN I STILL TAKE CLASSES?
Yes. The Mayor said that getting the first shot of a 2-dose vaccine is enough to satisfy the new requirement. He believes this will encourage those are still on the fence to finally take the first step towards vaccination.
6. I AM NOT VACCINATED. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY PASS OR MEMBERSHIP?
The new requirement only applies to indoor classes and events. Unvaccinated people may still take our classes online or in Forest Park.
However, we also can place a hold on your pass or membership until you are able to come to the studio again. This means passes won’t expire and monthly membership payments will be frozen. Please email us to request a hold.
7. WILL MASKS BE REQUIRED IN INDOOR CLASSES?
For now, the city and state do not require wearing masks inside yoga studios. According to the Mayor, the City’s health experts belief if everyone in a room is fully vaccinated, the risk of transmission is very low, so it’s not necessary to mandate masks at this time.
The studio’s current policy is to require those who have not presented proof of vaccination to wear a mask at all times. However, if you are fully vaccinated, and want to wear a mask during class, we encourage you to do so! In fact, the CDC believes it’s a good idea for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks indoors if they are in a high transmission area like New York City.
Finally, if you feel sick or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please continue being cautious and stay home. You can always take our classes via Zoom.