Portland restaurants petition for COVID vaccine requirement in City Eateries – NECN

In the wake of Boston and New York City’s decision to implement COVID-19 vaccine requirements for dining inside restaurants, a group of restaurants in Portland, Maine, are hoping city leaders will implement this type of mandate.

Over the past week, a dozen restaurants, including places like Eventide Oyster Co. and Chaval, have signed a petition urging Portland City Council to demand the shots in restaurants and certain other indoor spaces in order to ” stem the recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in Maine.

“I felt really worried about the COVID numbers and thought I would come to work before I saw the family,” said Kate Klibansky, bartender for Big Tree Hospitality, which owns Eventide and several other Portland restaurants.

Klibanksy and others who support the petition believe that a general rule on vaccines would create a simple standard for business owners with the support of city leaders, which would reduce conflict between restaurant owners and customers. who may disagree with individual restaurants themselves requiring vaccines.

“You put them in a very difficult position to deal with the reaction of the guests or to lose business,” she said.

People like Jaina Neri, an Arabica coffee manager in Portland, agree.

The cafe has its own requirement that customers be fully vaccinated and, according to Neri, the first feedback after a week is positive.

“Every day someone comes to thank us for doing this for our community and for keeping us safe,” she said.

However, she added, “it is important to have our city by our side”.

Some Portland city councilors, like Pious Ali, have said they fully support a restaurant vaccine requirement, but councilors recently blocked similar measures like a city-wide mask warrant, an issue that should be tackled for the third time next Monday.

There are also adamant opponents of the vaccine requirement, including the owner of Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub in Portland, who told NBC News Center Maine affiliate that “the city of Portland should respect every business’s right to implement its own immunization mandate “.

Asked about its views on a vaccine requirement for Portland restaurants, HospitalityMaine, an industry group representing 1,000 members of Maine’s hotel and restaurant sectors, declined to comment on NECN and NBC10 Boston on Thursday.

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Sandy A. Greer