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New York Wants to Offer Free Vaccines to Tourists

Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash
New York Wants to Offer Free Vaccines to Tourists

New York City wants to set up mobile vaccination sites for tourists at major attractions, according to the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The plan would see tourists get a free jab of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, leaving them to enjoy their stay in the city – even if they wouldn’t be fully immune. The vaccination vans would be stationed at popular tourist spots like the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the High Line and Central Park.

The major said the mobile units could be ready as soon as this weekend, but the state needs to approve the plan. New York’s state health authority has yet to receive a formal plan, it said.

But the mayor’s enthusiasm is undimmed. “This is a positive message to tourists. Come here, it’s safe, it’s a great safe to be and we’re gonna take care of you,” he said. “We’re going to make sure you get vaccinated while you’re here with us.”

The pandemic has cost New York City an estimated 90,000 jobs and $60 billion in lost tourism revenue, so authorities are especially keen for a return to normal.

Capacity restriction on restaurants, shows and shops will be lifted on May 19th; tickets for Broadway shows went on sale yesterday, May 6 ahead of a return to full-capacity performances in mid-September.

“Broadway’s back. New York City’s back. Get ready,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted just before ticket sales opened up early Thursday.

 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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