Dozens of demonstrators last night blocked roads outside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Brooklyn home after he unveiled plans to impose a vaccine mandate on employees at all private businesses.
Protesters chanted ‘no vaccine mandates’ and ‘my body, my choice’ as they blocked traffic, including a garbage truck, outside the New York City address.
De Blasio issued the new Covid-19 vaccine mandate on Monday and ordered that children aged 5-11 be included in the rule that forces restaurants, movie theaters and other public spaces to ask for proof of vaccination before entry.
It remains unclear how de Blasio plans to enforce the draconian measures – the first in the nation – and whether his successor, Eric Adams, who takes over on January 1, will maintain the policy.
Protesters last night demanded: ‘Save our children’ and ‘We say no, we say no!’ while another held a sign reading ‘Wake up New York. Hold the line.’
And in another twist, a New York judge yesterday temporarily halted de Blasio’s city workers vaccine mandate which required workers to have had at least one dose of the vaccine by October 29 or face being placed on unpaid leave.
An estimated 9,000 city workers were forced onto unpaid leave in November after the October 20 order came into effect.
Dozens of demonstrators last night blocked roads outside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Brooklyn home after he unveiled plans to impose a vaccine mandate on employees at all private businesses
Protesters last night demanded: ‘Save our children’ and ‘We say no, we say no!’ while another held a sign reading ‘Wake up New York. Hold the line’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured on December 2) issued the new Covid-19 vaccine mandate on Monday and ordered that children aged 5-11 be included in the rule that forces restaurants, movie theaters and other public spaces to ask for proof of vaccination
The bombshell vaccine mandate – announced just four days before most private sector employees knock off for the holidays – will begin on December 27, though the mayor says more information will be available on the initiative on December 15.
De Blasio said during a Monday press conference that the new shot mandate will apply to in-person employment, with any place with more than one employee on-site subject to it, and there will be no testing opt-out option.
Some local business leaders have said they were ‘blindsided’ by the new requirements. Others said they fear it will exacerbate the ongoing labor shortage, making employers lose some of their workers during a time where many are already short-staffed.
Meanwhile, indoor activity vaccine requirements for children aged five to 11 will also go into effect in mid-December.
Starting December 14, children wanting to take part in band, sports, orchestra or dance extra-curricular activities at school will have to have received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine.
De Blasio’s earlier vaccine mandate sparked protests across New York, where official data from the city’s Department of Health indicates 80 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated.
The mayor had ordered all city employees, numbering around 160,500, to have at least their first shot by October 29 or face being suspended without pay.
On November 1, de Blasio said the mandate had had the desired effect. The vaccination rate for city workers rose from 71 per cent on October 20 to 91 per cent by November 1, according to de Blasio.
Uniformed correctional officers were not included in the October 20 mandate, with their union being the most stridently anti-mandate of all, and only 46 per cent of employees being vaccinated.
Their mandate went into effect on December 1.
Demonstrators are seen on December 6 outside the New York City Department of Health offices
Municipal workers in New York City are seen protesting against the mandate on October 25
Thousands of municipal workers, including FDNY, NYPD and DSNY, marched over Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in Manhattan on October 25, to protest the mandate
City workers angry at the vaccine mandate march over Brooklyn Bridge on October 25
Vaccination rates rose to 85 per cent for the New York Police Department, 88 per cent for Emergency Medical Services, 83 per cent for the Sanitation Department and 77 per cent for firefighters.
‘Time and time again we put the mandates in place and they’ve worked,’ de Blasio said.
But in another blow to vaccine mandates, US District Judge Stan Baker on Tuesday ruled President Joe Biden’s order requiring federal contractors to have employees fully vaccinated by January 18 was unlawful.
Baker said Congress did not clearly authorize the president to use procurement to impose a vaccine requirement on contractors that will have ‘vast economic and political significance.’
The ruling was the latest setback for Biden, who announced a series of measures in September aimed at increasing vaccination rates to fight the pandemic that continues to kill more than 1,000 Americans daily.
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