On Monday, Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston announced the city’s new vaccine passport system. This will ban the unvaccinated from gyms, bars, and other establishments.
“Vaccination is the most powerful tool we have to fight this pandemic,” Wu said while announcing the new policy.
City workers will also need to have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine by Jan. 15 and two by Feb. 15. The policy doesn’t give them the option for weekly testing, however. The passport system for patrons at various indoor businesses will get the same deadlines.
According to the Boston Herald, around 90% of the city’s 18,000 employees are in compliance with the vaccine requirement currently in place.
The report also said that Wu intends to boost vaccination and booster rates via these stricter policies as cases surge once again and as the new omicron variant drives the current spread of the disease.
Boston Residents and Workers Criticize New Vaccine Policy
Protesters were present during Wu’s announcement. They shouted “USA!” and sang the National Anthem. To them, the mayor replied, “There is nothing more American than coming together to ensure that we are taking care of each other.”
Obviously, many have slammed the new policy in Boston.
Geoff Diehl, a GOP gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts, denounced the new system, calling them “clear violations of the civil rights of anyone who lives in, works in or travels to the city, and will make it even more difficult for Boston’s economy to recover from the pandemic.”
The Boston First Responder United expressed their intent to fight the mandates in court. Similarly, the National Federation for Independent Businesses released a statement saying that businesses are already struggling enough and that they should not be tasked with doing the government’s job.
“It is unfortunate that, once again, private businesses are being placed in the unenviable position of having to enforce another government health directive,” Christopher Carlozzi, State Director for NFIB in Massachusetts, said.
“Even though small business owners are currently struggling to fully staff their restaurants and venues, they will now be responsible for enforcing the city’s newest public health mandate, too,” he went on to say.