The plan was first proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, when vaccinations were limited to people who lived or worked in New York. Now the state has updated its eligibility guidance to include anyone aged 16 years old or older who lives in the US. Whether vaccinations will be further expanded to include international visitors has not yet been confirmed, although the state has implemented a $30m campaign to attract visitors back to the city.
"This summer, you're going to see tourism come alive again in New York City, you’re going to see a lot of jobs come back because of it," said de Blasio. "We want to go the extra mile, make it easy for tourists. If they're here, get vaccinated while you're here. That is good for all of us that they get vaccinated. It's good for them. It's another reason to be here and know you're going to be taken care of. So, we're going to be setting up these mobile vaccination sites where tourists go."
According to the mayor, these popular visitor sites include Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, the High Line, Sunset Park, Flushing Meadows Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being used at these locations, most of which are open for walk-ins and don't require an appointment.
In addition, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced eight new pop-up vaccination sites at MTA station stops in the New York City, Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions. Incentives to get vaccinated at the sites will be provided in the form of a free seven-day MetroCard or free round trip Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North ticket.
The development comes after the announcement that Broadway shows can resume in September, in accordance with the state's health and safety guidance. The city has also as begun reopening its famous attractions, including the Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim art gallery and the Bronx Zoo. Up-to-date information on vaccine eligibity can be found on the official website here.