In a bit of a surprise announcement, New York Mayor Eric Adams announced the end of the city’s Key to NYC restrictions on vaccinations, which on the surface would seem to clear the way for Kyrie Irving to return as a full-time player…
New York City’s #COVID numbers continue to go down.
So long as our indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week, on Monday, March 7 we will also remove the vaccination requirements for Key2NYC — meaning indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) February 27, 2022
Adams had said in two appearances late last week that he was considering such a move. The delay in waiting a week to end the mandate, the mayor said Sunday, was about giving business owners the time to adapt while monitoring the data “to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York.”
However, while the move by Adams appears to be good news for the Nets, Shams Charania reports there may be one more hurdle for the Nets and Irving to clear…
New York City will lift Key2NYC vaccine mandate on March 7, assuming numbers stay on track, per Mayor Eric Adams.
But: I’m told the private sector mandate still restricts Kyrie Irving from playing in home games, although he could enter Barclays Center as spectator.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 27, 2022
Still later, ABC TV and Newsday reported that Irving will NOT be able to play…
Despite NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ announcement, a city official told WABC-TV that Kyrie Irving would still not be able to play at the Barclays Center on March 7 as the city’s vaccine mandate for workers remains in effect. pic.twitter.com/te7ILzsH8y
— ESPN (@espn) February 27, 2022
And Adams press secretary confirmed Shams’ interpretation… and advised all New Yorkers to get vaccinated…
Four days ago, Chris Sommerfeldt, the Daily News’ City Hall reporter, had hinted at the same issue…
But even if “Key to NYC” is lifted, Irving may not be able to play at Barclays because of the city’s private employer mandate, which requires vaccinations for all employees of Big Apple-based private companies, including the Brooklyn Nets.
Though he’s targeting “Key to NYC” for tweaks, Adams has no plans to revisit the private employer mandate, according to a City Hall official.
BSE Global, parent company of the Nets and Barclays Center, is covered by the private employer mandate.
Should that hurdle be cleared — and a Nets official deferred all questions to city officials, Irving would be able to play in 10 games that under the vaccine mandate he would not have been previously eligible for, the first of which would be a March 13 afternoon game at Barclays.