Covid: New Yorkers line up for tests and vaccination as new rules arrive

All New Yorkers, who are 12 and older, must now prove they're vaccinated to eat in restaurants, enter gyms, or watch movies in theatres

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New York, the biggest US city, started requiring on Monday its 184,000 businesses to be able to prove that their employees have been vaccinated.

All New Yorkers who are 12 and older must now prove they're vaccinated to eat in restaurants, enter gyms, or watch movies in theatres.

In addition, children 5 to 11 years old must present a proof of at least one vaccine dose to enter restaurants and participate in extracurricular school activities, such as sports, band, orchestra and dance.

Rising Covid-19 Omicron variant cases snarled air travel over Christmas weekend as flight crews contracted the virus, causing thousands of flight cancellations.

Curtailed cruises and a lack of widely available testing crimped other plans as the more transmissible variant took hold.

US airlines canceled about 800 flights on Monday, with the fourth straight day of cancellations reigniting concerns that Omicron could hamper the economy heading into 2022.

US Covid-19 infections are increasing, with 205,509 new infections reported on average each day.

US President Joe Biden and his White House Covid-19 response team planned to meet on Monday with the group representing the country's governors as the Omicron variant spread across US states this holiday week.

Separately, The United States has administered 503,480,667 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as of Monday morning and distributed 609,589,955 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The agency said 242,433,620 people had received at least one dose, while 205,196,973 people are fully vaccinated as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Monday.

The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine.

Over 66 million people received an additional dose of either Pfizer or Moderna's vaccine since Aug. 13, when the U.S. authorised a third dose of the vaccines for people with compromised immune systems who are likely to have weaker protection from the two-dose regimens.