BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has announced two initiatives to try and slow the spread of coronavirus. Starting January 15, many indoor spaces will need to require proof of vaccination, and city workers must become vaccinated along the same timeline.
Proof of vaccination will be needed for indoor dining, indoor fitness venues, and indoor entertainment, recreational, and event venues.READ MORE: Unvaccinated Boston City Workers Could Face Discipline Starting Monday
Protesters started outside and then moved inside during the announcement. They could be heard chanting, singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and yelling “shame on Wu.”
“There is nothing more American than coming together to ensure that we are taking care of each other, that each and every one of our community members is safe, is healthy, and has access to the future and the opportunities they deserve,” Wu said in response to protestors.
— Lisa Gresci (@Lisa_Gresci) December 20, 2021
Some feel the new rule will cause more problems than it solves.
“This is really going to hurt consumer confidence in all and I think it’s going to be really tough for small business,” said Chris Coombs, the owner of Deuxave restaurant in Boston’s Back Bay. “The logistics around auditing vaccinations. Are they real? Are they fake? Did the guests forget one? Do we take them at their word if they say they got one? The logistics around this are going to be really challenging.”
However, others say they support the move.READ MORE: Wellfleet Police Investigating Fatal Crash
“It really takes the onus off of us,” said Temple Gill, spokesperson for the Huntington Theatre Company in the South End. The venue has been requiring customers to show proof of vaccination since it reopened in August. “Vaccine checks have been going very smoothly. Our audiences are very appreciative of all of the protocols that we have put in place,” she said.
A spokesperson for the first responders union said the mandates are a slap in the face and a violation of rights.
“It’s not just about unvaccinated people, its about all human beings. We love the job. We also think we all have rights, now unvaccinated people lose their rights,” one protester said. “My mayor is not my doctor,” her sign read.
Another added, “to take us and say you’re going to get this vaccine or you’re terminated? That flies in the face of every democratic value that this country is based on. Especially here in Boston. We are asking Mayor Wu, please do not remove the testing option.”
The timetable is the same for everyone 12 and older – one shot by Jan. 15 and two shots by Feb. 15. There is another schedule for children 5-11, who will have to show proof of full vaccination beginning May 1.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Other communities are planning to follow in Boston’s footsteps, including Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington, Medford, Brookline and Salem.