Boston business feeling impact with new vaccine requirement

BOSTON — Boston’s B Together program begins this weekend. It requires anyone going into a restaurant, gym or entertainment establishment to prove they have their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It only applies to people who are currently eligible to be vaccinated.

The new rule is for restaurants, gyms and some other businesses. But it is also for places where you might have an event. We found one business that has had a half dozen canceled events because of the city’s new mandate. Polish American Citizens Club President Stasia Kacprzak says they can host everything from baby showers to first birthdays and weddings. They were counting on a big year to get back on track — financially. “I said you have to make sure your people are vaccinated in order to have events here,” said Kacprzak.

When the city announced people needed to prove they were vaccinated to get into places like restaurants, gyms and entertainment locations, the Polish club says they started getting cancelations. “We lost six. I had to give everybody their money back. It’s very hard to stay in business if you can’t have something like this and it is going to stay empty,” said Kacprzak

The city says it will be enforcing the mandate beginning with verbal warnings. “We didn’t know that you guys were doing proof of vaccination, one tourist said. “It doesn’t change my places where we want to go,” a man said.

You don’t necessarily need to have your physical card with you. You can also take a photo of it and keep it on your phone or go online where the state has set up a system so you can have it electronically. “I don’t carry a card around with me but I got a picture of it on my phone,” one man said. “I understand everybody should be vaccinated I believe in that 100 percent but I think we should do it differently so people don’t lose their shirts, their businesses,” said Kacprzak.

Boston’s Mayor has no plan to require a booster but the second dose deadline is on February 15th.

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