Some NYC eateries uneasy about de Blasio’s vax ID mandate

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Mayor Bill de Blasio crowed that Big Apple eateries were thrilled over his new vaccine ID mandate as it took effect Tuesday — but some restaurant workers told The Post they’re finding it hard to swallow.

“They believe in this. They are making it happen because they want their customers to be safe and their employees to be safe. So, they’re already buying into this,” the mayor claimed of local restaurants during a press conference as his “Key to NYC” decree kicked off.

The edict requires patrons at indoor restaurants, bars, museums, movie theaters and gyms in the city to provide proof they were vaccinated before they are allowed in.

Some restaurant workers interviewed by The Post said the situation makes them queasy — because it’s a potential recipe for disaster.

“I feel like it’s gonna be a big mess,” said Jacqueline Badillo, a cashier at Table 87 in Brooklyn Heights. “It was like, ‘Get the vaccine for the greater good.’ Then it was, ‘Get the vaccine if you can win a free college tuition.’

Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has encouraged New Yorkers to get “the COVID Safe app” to make it easier to show off vaccination cards.
Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock

“Now it’s kind of like, ‘Get the vaccine, or you really can’t do anything,'” Badillo, 19, said.

“I get why they’re doing it. It’s just the reaction some people will have that is the problem.”

Samanta Olivo, a cashier at Blue Collar in Brooklyn, said the mandate is “a pain in the ass.”

“If you’re hungry, I’m gonna sit here and be like, ‘No, you can’t come in, you cannot get food, because you’re not vaccinated? ‘” said Olivo, 19. “That’s over the line, in a sense. That’s not cool.

“It’s too much,” she said.

Georgie Fulton, 31, a server at The Long Island Bar, also in Brooklyn, said the new restrictions could make it even harder to find employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone’s struggling to find more staff, and then that’s just one extra thing that we have to do that takes time,” she said. “It’s just time-consuming and annoying.”

Georgia Fulton argues Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine ID mandate is “time-consuming and annoying.”
Stephen Yang
The Long Island Bar on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.
Georgie Fulton says The Long Island Bar will continue to struggle with hiring new workers under the vaccine ID mandate.
Stephen Yang

De Blasio said the first month of the mandate will be devoted to educating merchants and patrons about the need for the vaccine. The city then will start to enforce the restrictions Sept. 13, with fines of $1,000 for the first offense and $2,000 for a second.

“You check IDs right now if people are drinking,” de Blasio said at his briefing. “If you go to a movie theater, you buy a ticket. … You go to a fitness club, you show your ID.

“There’s already an obvious point at which you can go ahead and check vaccination,” he said. “And I really urge people to get the COVID Safe app, the NYC app, which is just so simple.”

Samantha Olivo, 19, cashier at Blue Collar on Court St. is against vaccine mandates and the vaccine in general.
Samanta Olivo says hungry customers won’t bother to show their vaccine cards.
Stephen Yang

He said “an outreach blitz” kicked off Tuesday, with 600 “canvassers” going out to Big Apple businesses impacted by the mandate, “providing information, support.”

The ID mandate is part of de Blasio’s push to get more New Yorkers vaccinated as the COVID-19 Delta variant has prompted a resurgence of the pandemic.

At least one city merchant was on board.

“Ninety percent of my customers are all for it,” said Joseph Montero, the 74-year-old owner of the famed Montero’s Bar and Grill in Brooklyn Heights.

Montero Bar and Grill on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.
Montero’s Bar and Grill in Brooklyn Heights.
Stephen Yang

“They’re happy that I’m doing it because they’re telling me that I am safeguarding them and everyone else who’s in here,” Montero said. “One or two people get huffy and get annoyed. It hasn’t hurt business at all.”

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