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Boston business owners consider vaccine mandate as NYC will soon require vaccination proof for indoor dining, gyms

BOSTON (WHDH) – Some Boston business owners said they would welcome a vaccine mandate after one was ordered in New York City, but when asked about the plan on Tuesday, Mayor Kim Janey said instead of a mandate, she wants to ensure all Bostonians have access to the vaccine. 

On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio said proof of vaccination will be required for patrons to enter all restaurants, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues in the city.

Adriana De Stefano, who owns Caffè Paradiso in the North End, said she would be on board if Boston took similar measures.

“I see too many customers that come in from all over the United States and I just don’t trust their word that they are totally vaccinated or not,” De Stefano said.

Janey said last week that she was considering a mandate for city employees but said she has no plans for business sector mandates.

“When it comes to what businesses may choose to do, we know those things are difficult to enforce when it comes to vaccines,” Janey said. “Instead, we want to lean in heavy on our partnerships in the community to make sure everyone has access to the life-saving vaccine.”

She added that she has concerns with mandating vaccines.

“I do worry that this could disproportionately impact certain communities of color and young people and others who have not yet been vaccinated,” Janey expressed.

Elise Caira, the owner of Fixx Fitness Studio in Southie, said all her instructors and staff are fully vaccinated; however, she isn’t requiring members to be vaccinated and is waiting for guidance from the city and state.

“At the end of the day for us, we’re a small community studio, we see the same faces day after day,” Caira said, “so we trust our clients that everyone is looking out for each other and they’re going to make the best decision for our community.”

At Row Republic in the North End, their vaccine mandate for staff and clients takes effect Monday.

“Vaccines are our way out,” Row Republic co-founder Joey Tagliente said. “What we’re essentially able to do by requiring vaccinations is simulate what we believe the whole world should be doing, which is all get vaccinated.”

Other fitness studios are requiring masks again regardless of vaccination, including Exhale Fitness Studios along the waterfront.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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