New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would be implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all private sector employers during an interview on MSNBC Monday.

The vaccine requirement will go into effect on Dec. 27, according to de Blasio’s announcement. He called the move a “preemptive strike” on the new omicron variant of COVID-19 and the winter months, which typically see a surge in cases.

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“We’ve got omicron as a new factor, we’ve got the colder weather, which is really going to create additional challenges with the delta variant, we’ve got holiday gatherings,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of COVID and the dangers it’s causing to all of us,” de Blasio said.

“As of today, we are going to announce a first in the nation measure, our health commissioner will announce a vaccine mandate for private sectors employers across the board,” he added. “All private sectors employers in New York City will be covered by this vaccine mandate, as of December 27th.”

Vaccine proof will also be required for 5- to 11-year-olds for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment and the program now requires two vaccine doses, as compared to the previous mandate, which only required one.

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