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New York will allow unvaccinated athletes to play home games

NEW YORK – The mayor of New York will announce on Thursday that he is releasing athletes and performers from the city’s mandate for a vaccine for private workers, a move that will allow Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play home games and unvaccinated baseball players to go out on the field. when their season starts.

Mayor Eric Adams will make the announcement on Thursday morning, and it will take effect immediately, according to a person familiar with the upcoming announcement, who is not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The city’s extensive vaccination mandate for workers will still apply to people with other types of jobs, including civil servants.

Adams said he believes the vaccine rule is unfair to athletes and performers, as a loophole in the measure imposed on his predecessor allows visiting players and performers who do not work in New York to continue playing. or present themselves, even if they have not been vaccinated.

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Irving, a proponent of the vaccine, was among the most affected. He managed to rejoin the team in January, but only when playing matches outside the city.

Concerns were expressed this month that the rule would also affect Major League Baseball.

Yankees star Aaron Judge declined to answer a question directly about his vaccine status earlier this month, leading to speculation that another New York team will be clouded by a player’s refusal to be inoculated.

When asked Wednesday about a possible vaccine release, the judge said he was “happy that Kyrie can play some home games.”

“If the mandate is not there, that’s good for Kyrie,” Judge told the Associated Press during spring training in Tampa, Florida, adding that he was “not very worried” about the effect of the mandate on the Yankees.

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The Yankees, who open their season at home against the Boston Red Sox on April 7, said earlier this month that the team president “is working with City Hall and all other relevant officials on the issue.” The Yankees declined to comment Wednesday.

Adams, a Mets fan, is due to make an “economic and health announcement” on Thursday morning at the City Field, where the Mets play, according to his official calendar published on Wednesday night.

Adams lifted mandates for vaccines and other restrictions on coronavirus, including on Tuesday, when he said masks could become optional for children under 5 on April 4th.

Mandates for masks for older children have now been removed, as have rules requiring people to provide proof of vaccination to dine at a restaurant, work out in a gym, attend a performance or go to an indoor sporting event.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio made vaccination mandatory as a rule of safety at work last year before leaving office.

All employers must prohibit unvaccinated workers from being in shared jobs.

The city has removed many government officials for refusing to be vaccinated, including government officials such as firefighters and paramedics.

Creating special exceptions for athletes or artists could potentially lead to legal challenges, arguing that the city does not apply the law evenly. ___

AP freelance writer Mark Diedler of Tampa, Florida, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

New York will allow unvaccinated athletes to play home games

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