New York: New York City employers will have to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers under new rules announced Monday by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The vaccine mandate for private businesses will take effect on Dec 27 and is aimed at preventing a spike in COVID-19 infections during the holiday season and the colder months, the Democratic mayor said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”Also Read - Both Sides Planning For New State-By-State Abortion Fight

“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. “All private-sector employers in New York City will be covered by this vaccine mandate as of Dec. 27.” Also Read - Abortion Rights at Stake in Historic Supreme Court Arguments

Vaccinations are already required for hospital and nursing home workers and city employees including teachers, police officers, and firefighters. A vaccination mandate for employees of private and religious schools was announced last week. Also Read - 'Gifts From the Heart' is Biden White House Christmas Theme

The city was moving to impose the mandate on private sector businesses even as federal courts have temporarily blocked an attempt by President Joe Biden to do the same nationally for larger companies. De Blasio said he expects the new mandate to survive any legal challenges.

Current New York City COVID-19 rules also include at least one vaccine dose for indoor restaurant dining, entertainment venues, and fitness centers. Under new mandates for indoor dining, entertainment, and gyms, two shots will be required for people over 12. One-shot will be required for children aged 5 to 11, who are not covered by the current mandate, de Blasio said.