Boston Massachusetts Mayor Michelle Wu announced Monday that the city will require COVID-19 vaccination proof to enter most indoor businesses and venues starting Jan. 15.
Employees of those businesses and venues will also have to get the vaccine, said Wu, Wu is a Democrat.
The order, which is similar to orders handed down in New York City and Los Angeles, will require that those going inside restaurants, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, fitness centers, concerts, sports arenas, museums, and other entertainment facilities present proof of a vaccine passport such as a vaccination card, digital image of a vaccination card, or another vaccination record, as well as presenting a verification app, according to the city.
Businesses under Wu’s mandate must post a notice for the vaccine requirement to enter. The mandate also applies to anyone aged 12 and older, while children aged 5 to 11 have to present one dose to enter venues by March 1, according to the city.
“It’s time for Boston to follow the science and public health data to ease [health care workers’] burden to take the big steps that we can to help close vaccination gaps,” Wu said in a news conference.
Problem is … it doesn’t work! In New York City, where vaccine passports have been in effect for several months, city data shows that the number of COVID-19 cases hit an all-time daily last week with over 20,000 infections reported.
Critics of vaccine passports have said they create a two-tiered society of vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Many have also raised concerns that these systems infringe on an individual’s right to privacy.
Wu’s directive is a one hundred degree turnaround from policies that were favored by her predecessor, former acting Mayor Democrat Kim Janey, who told media outlets in August that vaccine passports hark back to slavery or the Reconstruction Era.
“There’s a long history in this country of people needing to show their papers. During slavery, post-slavery, as recent as—you know what immigrant population has to go through here … Here we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionally impact BIPOC communities,” Janey said in response to a question about passports. At the time, Wu, who was a city councilwoman, criticized the former mayor.
Other cities in Massachusetts are considering requiring Vaccine Passports, they are; Arlington, Brookline, Somerville, Cambridge, Medford and Salem Across the nation, Los Angles, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and now Boston have imposed vaccine pass systems. Philadelphia’s passport system was announced earlier this month.