New York City residents are being offered free tickets to local attractions and events if they get their COVID-19 vaccine.
Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the new incentive earlier this week ahead of the major tri-state reopening next week, which would see most restrictions on businesses lifted.
Tickets are being offered for popular attractions such as the New York Aquarium, the Bronx Zoo, membership to the Public Theater, tickets to Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Cyclones, and New York City FC, among others.
De Blasio said: “We want to make it easier and make it fun and want to give some incentives that are really going to encourage folks who haven’t gotten around to it and were waiting around for the right moment. Here’s the right moment.”
The New York Post reported that the number of New Yorkers seeking vaccinations has fallen, with 45 per cent of adult city residents not being inoculated. NYC has issued about seven million injections and its infection rate is the lowest it has been in six months.
The news follows Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last week that those who get their vaccines at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium could get free tickets to later games.
The vaccination incentive has been pushed through after recent announcements from the Governor’s office of large-scale reopening from next week. This includes spectator capacity at large-scale outdoor event venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, will increase from 20 to 33 per cent beginning May 19.
In addition, Broadway theatres will reopen to full crowds from September after Cuomo announced all capacity limits on venues would be lifted from May 19.
In March, New York launched the first coronavirus passport app in the country to help fast-track the reopening of entertainment venues. The pass, which was trialled at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, is accepted at large-scale venues, as well as dozens of event, arts and entertainment venues statewide.
Image: Robert Mintzes / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Edited for size