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If You're Unvaccinated, You May Want to Get Out of This City

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that patrons and employees will be required to show proof of vaccination against the Wuhan coronavirus to enter most indoor establishments in the city. Additionally, the city implemented a “vaccine passport” system, called the “Key to NYC” pass, to support this effort. This week, as Leah covered, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city plans to implement similar measures. Now, yet another left-wing city plans to follow suit.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to announce new COVID-19 restrictions, including a vaccine requirement or testing requirement for indoor dining for patrons and employees. According to local outlet ABC 7 Chicago, the requirements will begin Jan. 1. 

The initiative is aimed at reducing the spread of the Omicron variant, which accounts for 73 percent of new COVID-19 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chicago restaurant owner Niki Flores spoke to ABC 7 Chicago about how a vaccine mandate for patrons and employees could impact her business. 

“It is frightening thinking about how this affects our business and even more than it already has, so it’s a little bit frightening,” Flores said in her interview.

“On the other end of that as just a civilian of Chicago, right, it is comforting because with the Omicron cases sweeping through the United States now, I think it gives people a sense of security that when you’re dining out you will be a little bit safer,” she added. 

Another unnamed restaurant owner told ABC 7 Chicago that they’re not “against” a vaccine passport, but it adds another “heavy lift” on his workers. 

One Chicago bakery, Baker Miller, announced this week that they will require proof of boosters for indoor dining. 

“Over the past few days we have been doing LOTS of research and talking to pros about the best next steps with Omicron. It’s still a little early to tell but so far, all signs indicate that the vaccine boosters mostly hold up to the old strains of Covid as well as Omicron. It also appears that any breakthrough cases are mild and equivalent to a cold. That said, we have updated our dine-in policy. We’ve always required vaccines and masking but effective immediately all staff and guests are also required to have a booster shot,” the company wrote in an Instagram post. 

“We know there are people on each side of this issue but we have based our decisions on science and safety ever since the pandemic began. We have also been consistently proactive, transparent and erred on the side of caution even when it meant making financial sacrifices. In this case, we trust the science and we trust our public health leaders when they say the booster works,” the company added in the post.

Lightfoot is expected to make an announcement pertaining to vaccine passports on Tuesday. 

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