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Mayor Adams announces end to vaccine mandate on March 7 ... BUT there’s a catch

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Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

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...

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...

Still later, ABC TV and Newsday reported that Irving will NOT be able to play...

And Adams press secretary confirmed Shams’ interpretation, disagreed with Adrian Wojnarowski’s... 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.

Assuming that hurdle be cleared — and it appears unlikely — 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.

A Nets spokesperson deferred all questions to city officials.