201111 New York
A healthcare worker prepares to administer tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Staten Island, New York, U.S., November 10, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

NEW YORK: New York City will require proof of vaccination for people attending indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms and shows, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday, making it the first major US city to introduce a vaccine pass.

"If you're vaccinated... you have the key, you can open the door. But if you're unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things," de Blasio told a press conference.

With coronavirus cases again surging in the United States, de Blasio said that a health pass called the "Key to NYC" would be launched on August 16, followed by a transition period before enforcement a month later.

"It's time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good, and full and healthy life," said de Blasio.

In recent weeks, the mayor and the governor of New York state, Andrew Cuomo, have issued regulations tightening vaccination of officials as the United States struggles to suppress the Delta variant.

New York state will require all "public-facing" health care workers to get vaccinated from September, and all of the state's tens of thousands of employees to show proof of vaccination or face weekly tests.

In New York, a city of more than eight million inhabitants, 71.8 percent of adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to official figures.