New COVID Rules Bring Lawsuits

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The uncertainty brought by the coronavirus pandemic is being exasperated by inconsistency and mismanagement from City Hall.

This is according to several Conservative Party candidates, business owners and consumers, all of whom announced today that they are bringing a lawsuit against NYC’s government for the vaccine passport mandate.

Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that proof of COVID vaccinations from employees and customers of indoor eateries, gyms and entertainment centers is mandatory beginning August 16.

Tony Herbert, Conservative candidate for Public Advocate called the measures random and destructive. 

“Once again this Mayor is handing down arbitrary and capricious mandates that pit New Yorkers against each other and negatively impact businesses,” Herbert said outside Staten Island Borough Hall. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, yet this Mayor seems hell-bent on putting them in the untenable position of having to turn their customers away or face fines.”

The backlash has not been limited to de Blasio’s conservative opponents. 

Nicole Biscardi, Restaurant & Hospitality Industry Specialist for Brooklyn’s Chamber of Commerce, says the lack of definition is drawing ire from local business owners.

“They are not giving any guidance, or indication of how much support they’re going to provide, or what enforcement looks like,” Biscardi said in a call with PoliticsNY. “But that’s like par for the course. Because that’s how it’s been the whole pandemic.”

Whether additional establishments join the lawsuits remains to be seen. Biscardi sees potential for more legal action, but says COVID has proven unpredictable.

“I think it’ll probably flare up and calm down, but who knows, this is unprecedented,” Biscardi said.

The Mayor’s Office and the NYC Department of Small Business Services could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

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