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Municipalities Implement Vaccine Mandates After Supreme Court Blocks Federal Mandate

Following the Supreme Court’s Thursday decision blocking the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate, cities throughout the country are requiring proof of vaccination before entering restaurants and other businesses.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued its decision regarding the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate, which would have required employees at companies with 100 or more workers to be fully vaccinated or adhere to weekly testing guidelines. The decision by the Supreme Court blocks this mandate.

“The [Department of Labor] Secretary has ordered 84 million Americans to either obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly medical testing at their own expense,” the Court wrote. “This is no ‘everyday exercise of federal power.’ It is instead a significant encroachment into the lives – and health – of a vast number of employees.”

Although there is not a federal vaccine mandate, employers of private companies can require vaccination for its employees by their own doing. Currently, Starbucks is one of the few restaurants requiring employees to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, QSR Magazine reported.

Many cities throughout the country, including Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, are implementing their own vaccine mandates, some of which require customers to show proof of vaccination before entering establishments such as restaurants and gyms. 

“I continue to hear from our partners in health care and in our health institutions that the ongoing strain on our healthcare system overall is still being driven by gaps in vaccination rates,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “Our policy is meant to be a strong support for our healthcare system and for residents at large. We know that this works in the city of Boston.” 

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