With covid cases surging and hospitals reaching their max capacities, mayors and presidents worldwide have released new vaccine mandates.
Several states have acknowledged the rapidly spreading omicron variant and the need for a new plan of action. Boston’s mayor Michelle Wu addressed the issue on Monday and announced news of “vaccine requirement for select indoor spaces.”
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Mayor Michelle Wu introduced the B Together Initiative on Monday while saying,
“Vaccination is the most powerful tool we have to fight this pandemic.”
The initiative is “Boston’s vaccine requirement for certain indoor spaces.”
The initiative will be put into action from January 15.2022. Residents will have to show proof of at least one dose of vaccination to visit restaurants, gyms, bars, nightclubs, and entertainments spaces. After a month (i.e February 15), the mandate will be expanded to two doses of vaccines.
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Moreover, Mayor Wu also said that the state plans on vaccinating children soon too.
“We’re also setting dates for children to be vaccinated to enter these spaces, beginning in March,” she said.
It will also be mandatory for employees to be fully vaccinated. If they refuse, they will face termination.
Fortunately, 90% of employees are already vaccinated! Before this mandate, employees had the option of not getting the vaccine and opting for weekly testing. However, with Wu’s new policy, this option won’t be available anymore.
“We are taking steps to ensure that we are increasing protections all across the city as we see cases going up,” explained Wu. “We’re in a moment where health must come first.
Business owners will also have to put up a sign informing people about the vaccine mandate. They will also have to ensure that each customer possesses a vaccination card.
Customers can also show a digital picture of their card or any other official proof of Vaccination. Additionally, Boston is working on developing an app especially for verification purposes for its residents.
More than half of Boston’s population is vaccinated. However, only 31% of the people have received boosters.
Currently, Boston is experiencing a surge in its covid cases with hospitalizations increasing rapidly.
Vaccination Mandates for the Other States
Wu worked with leaders in New York to come up with her current policy. Several other cities and towns also showed their support for her policy on Monday. This includes Salem, Brookline, and Somerville.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker opposed the idea of imposing vaccine mandates. However, he too is working to get a digital proof of vaccination tool. More details about this tool will be released in the coming weeks as announced by the Baker administration.
Somerville’s mayor Joe Curtatone wants to seek similar policies for his city too. He said,
“For those communities who don’t have these measures in place, I want those residents to speak up louder than what you’re hearing here and demand they be put in place in our city and town.”
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City Hall was quite a mess after Wu’s announcement. Protestors sang loudly and chanted slogans. They sang songs like “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Wu responded to their chants saying,
“There is nothing more American than coming together to ensure that we are taking care of each other.”
The indoor mask mandate was supported by several business owners. However, the National Federation of Independent Business believes it is burdensome for struggling businesses. The organization’s State Director Christopher Carlozzi said,
“It is unfortunate that, once again, private businesses are being placed in the unenviable position of having to enforce another government health directive.”