Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced a sweeping Covid vaccine mandate for all personal employers in New York Metropolis on Monday morning to fight the unfold of the Omicron variant.

Mr. de Blasio mentioned the aggressive measure, which takes impact Dec. 27 and which he described as the primary of its form within the nation, was wanted as a “pre-emptive strike” to stall one other wave of coronavirus circumstances and assist scale back transmission through the winter months and vacation gatherings.

“Omicron is right here, and it appears prefer it’s very transmissible,” he mentioned in an interview on MSNBC. “The timing is horrible with the winter months.”

New York Metropolis has already put vaccine mandates in place for metropolis staff and for indoor eating, leisure and gymnasiums. Almost 90 p.c of adults within the metropolis now have not less than one dose of the vaccine.

However Mr. de Blasio mentioned the town should go additional to fight one other wave of the virus in New York Metropolis, as soon as the epicenter of the pandemic. Some personal employers have required staff to get vaccinated, however many others haven’t.

The mayor additionally introduced that the principles for eating and leisure would apply to kids ages 5 to 11, beginning on Dec. 14, and the requirement for adults will enhance from one dose of a vaccine to 2 beginning on Dec. 27.

Mr. de Blasio and Gov. Kathy Hochul held a information convention final Thursday to announce New York State’s first five cases of the Omicron variant. The variety of coronavirus circumstances within the metropolis has elevated quickly in current weeks; day by day case counts have elevated greater than 75 p.c since Nov. 1.

Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat with lower than a month left in workplace, mentioned he was assured the brand new mandate would survive any authorized challenges.

“We’re assured as a result of it’s common,” he mentioned of the mandate.