Incoming NYC mayor says he will keep de Blasio's vaccine mandates in place

Adams will be sworn in as mayor of New York City on New Year's Eve

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Incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams says he will keep outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate to visit businesses in place when he is sworn in on New Year’s Eve.

"We are going to keep that in place," Adams said in a Thursday press conference when asked about de Blasio’s controversial coronavirus vaccine mandate. "We spoke with our business leaders today to let them know we’re going to keep that in place."

Eric Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul greet each other after Adams is declared the victor at his election night party in Brooklyn, Nov. 2, 2021.

Eric Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul greet each other after Adams is declared the victor at his election night party in Brooklyn, Nov. 2, 2021. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

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Adams continued, "This virus is ever moving. As we continue to look at the evolution of this virus, there will be moments when we can change some of the mandates. I would love to get to the day when we won't have children wearing masks in schools, when we won't have families needing to sit in a restaurant or visit other locations with the vaccine cards. We're going to make those adjustments based on what the science tells us when we can remove some of the mandates. And there may come a time if a new variant comes where we have to increase mandates. And so right now we're going to maintain what was put in place for the business community."

It was also announced in the press conference that Adams will leave de Blasio’s private sector employee vaccine mandate in place but will "focus on compliance, not punishment."

Additionally, Adams said that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will be the one to determine vaccine mandates in school's and announced he will keep the city's indoor mask mandate in place.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Feb. 5, 2021.

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Feb. 5, 2021. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

"Keep our city open," Adams said. "That's the goal. We can't shut down our city again."

Adams, a former New York City police captain, will take his oath of office in the wee hours of New Year’s Day to become the second Black mayor of the nation’s most populous city.

New York’s mayor-elect announced Wednesday that he would hold his swearing-in ceremony in Times Square on Saturday, shortly after the traditional midnight ball drop and amid thousands of New Year’s Eve revelers.

Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams address supporters at his primary election night party in New York on June 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File).

Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams address supporters at his primary election night party in New York on June 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File).

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"I am deeply humbled to officially take the oath of office at this iconic occasion, and to participate in the transfer of leadership that is a cornerstone of our democracy," Adams said in a statement.

Associated Press contributed to this report