Just one day after recognizing how needless a new mask mandate is — and how harmful it’d be to the city’s recovery — Mayor Bill de Blasio caved and came up with something that could prove seriously damaging to Gotham’s still-struggling small businesses: a mandate requiring proof of COVID vaccination to enter many of them.
“If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” Hizzoner declared Tuesday as he announced that those entering indoor bars and restaurants, fitness facilities and entertainment venues would have to show proof of inoculation, whether worker or customer. He’s launching the mandate — the nation’s first — on Aug. 16 and starting enforcement Sept. 13.
Let’s be clear. The Post has always been in favor of vaccination being the only true way out of this crisis.
But we can’t help but think this will be more bad news for the overworked and understaffed hospitality industry, which is still reeling from ridiculous pandemic regulations. Businesses will now have to turn away customers if they enforce the mandate, and Blas is putting the onus on them to do so. Yet there’s no guarantee, of course, that some people won’t counterfeit vax cards to get around the restriction.
Hizzoner gave city workers a better deal by requiring them to show vaccination records or submit to weekly testing: Proof of a negative COVID test won’t be enough to get you into your local coffee shop or pub.
And get this: Children under 12, as Karol Markowicz notes nearby, aren’t eligible to receive COVID vaccines, yet de Blasio hasn’t decided if they’ll be allowed to join their vaccinated parents for meals and shows. That’s insane.
Worse, he said he might expand the vaccine-proof requirement to other indoor industries, such as retail.
Meanwhile, he’s spent taxpayer money developing his Key to NYC Pass for residents even though the state’s Excelsior Pass does the same thing. Yet only New York residents can obtain proof of vaccination through it, so visitors will have to have their own records on hand.
De Blasio’s policy is only going to delay the city’s recovery. He should focus more on getting shots in people’s arms in a positive manner. More carrot, less stick, please.