NYC restaurants sue Mayor de Blasio over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

A group of New York City restaurant owners have filed a lawsuit against New York City and Mayor Bill de Blasio over the city’s current COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Earlier in the month the city announced that it would be introducing a new rule which would require people to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they would be allowed indoor service at restaurants, gyms, or any indoor entertainment venue. Mayor de Blasio also issued an executive order which requires that patrons and employees of such places would have to provide proof of vaccination, either by providing a paper certificate issued by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention or New York State’s ‘Excelsior’ pass app.

The rule went into effect this week and the city plans to start enforcing it by September 13th. The lawsuit filed in the New York Supreme Court, is being led by ‘Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue {ROAR}, a group which have condemned the mandate as “arbitrary, irrational, unscientific, and unlawful”.

The lawsuit takes issue with the fact that unlike similar mandates or laws introduced in various localities, there’s no option for those who want to wear a mask and provide a recent negative COVID test. The suit also points out that businesses are being unfairly targeted by the mandate because similar indoor social events like churches, hair salons and schools are not included within the scope of the new laws.

The group also argues that the mandate is effectively pointless because its “an uncontested fact that unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can both contract COVID-19 and the Delta variant, further illustrating the arbitrariness of this excessive order.” The plaintiffs’ attorney Louis Gelormino told Fox News that “What we’re looking for is a permanent injunction against the mandate to test people as they walk into restaurants and gyms or require {proof of} vaccination.”

The lawsuit backs up their claims by quoting a study released by the New York State based on data collected between September and November of 2020 which found that an estimated 74% of COVID-19 cases stemmed from household gatherings and only 1.4% were linked to restaurants.

When asked about the lawsuit during a press conference on Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio said that he has “tremendous confidence that we’re in a very strong legal position” and told reporters that it was his mission to get “more people vaccinated.” De Blasio said that he believes the order “sends a powerful message that vaccination will unlock our city’s potential, and we’ll stop at nothing to save lives and keep New Yorkers safe.”

As of Monday, 56% of New York residents are fully vaccinated and 62% had received at least one dose. In the executive order issued by the Mayor he notes a study conducted by Yale University which found that New York City’s “vaccination campaign” is estimated to have prevented “250,000 COVID-19 cases, 44,000 hospitalizations and 8,300 deaths from COVID-19 infections since the start of the vaccination drive through July 1st ,2021.”

NYC isn’t the only place to have introduced laws requiring proof of vaccination for certain activities. San Francisco intends to put a similar law into action on Friday, with other city’s considering their options. Further from home France’s parliament passed a law which requires a “health pass” showing proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test in order to travel long distances on trains and planes or enter bars and restaurants.



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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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