Bill de Blasio waves off impact of kid vaccine mandate on tourism

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Let them eat cold soup.

Mayor Bill de Blasio spurned the concerns of Big Apple tourists who can’t dine in city restaurants because their kids aren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus — while dismissing the economic impact on the eateries.

“Even though I always appreciate any concern, if folks from the restaurant community have a concern, if some of our visitors have a concern, I obviously appreciate that deeply,” de Blasio said Tuesday at his remote press briefing when asked by The Post about the issue.

“But the big picture here is it’s about the safety of all New Yorkers and about our recovery. And this was the right thing to do for that,” de Blasio said.

Some parents who planned to dine out with their kids Monday were stunned to learn that 5- to 11-year-olds can’t get into restaurants without having received one dose of a vaccine.

They need to be fully inoculated against the virus by Wednesday as part of the mayor’s “Key to NYC” mandate that requires the jab to enter eateries, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment venues.

Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed concerns that his COVID-19 vaccine mandates are hurting city tourism and restaurant owners.
Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed concerns that his COVID-19 vaccine mandates are hurting NYC tourism and restaurant owners.
Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Offi

De Blasio first launched the “Key to NYC” for adults at all public indoor venues in August — but he didn’t announce the inclusion of kids in that mandate until earlier this month.

Costa Rican tourists Jose Santana and Daniela Alfaro said they were thinking of cutting short their visit to the city after finding out that they couldn’t dine indoors with their children Victoria, 9, and Marcelo, 5. The mandate didn’t include youngsters when they booked their trip months ago and vaccines are not available for kids in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican tourists and other families told The Post they were caught off guard by the mandate. De Blasio claimed it’s been “very, very well publicized” but didn’t have any information handy about how the city’s tourism promotion department, NYC & Company, reached out to visitors about the new rules.

Costa Rican tourists Jose Santana and Daniela Alfaro are considering ending their trip early because they can't dine indoors with their unvaccinated children.
Costa Rican tourists Jose Santana and Daniela Alfaro are considering ending their trip early because they can’t dine indoors with their unvaccinated children.
Stephen Yang

“For our foreign visitors, we’ve, you know, made very, very clear that vaccination is part of being able to experience the Broadway community, part of being able to experience indoor dining and for anyone who wants to get vaccinated, we will do happily what we can to help them,” de Blasio said.

Staff at several restaurants including the Brooklyn Diner in Times Square said they turned away dozens of unvaccinated guests Monday — a time when the industry is struggling to recover from pandemic shutdowns and other restrictions.

Andrew Rigie, of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, said his group received a couple dozen messages from families overseas who had their Big Apple holiday vacations booked and became very concerned because their kids aren’t even eligible to be vaccinated in their home countries.

“They didn’t want to be stuck out in the cold during their trip,” Rigie said.

De Blasio said he wanted to be responsive to their plight, “but in the end, the number one job is to protect people.”

Mayor de Blasio said that he understands the concern that some tourists have, but believes the "big picture here is it's about the safety of all New Yorkers and about our recovery."
Mayor de Blasio said that he understands the concern that some tourists have, but believes the “big picture here is it’s about the safety of all New Yorkers and about our recovery.”
Stephen Yang

Unvaccinated diners can still eat outdoors — though that options isn’t very appealing with temperatures dipping below 30 degrees at night.

Kathy Wylde, head of the business industry group Partnership for New York City, said de Blasio’s disregard for companies that fuel the city’s economy was nothing new.

“For eight years, Mayor de Blasio has dismissed the concerns of NYC businesses, large and small, so his disregard of the consequences of his last minute vaccine mandate is no surprise,” Wylde said.

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