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You Want My Vaccine Card?


Can businesses really ask for my COVID vaccine card? Yes, they can.


Throughout Boston, you may be seeing signs outside of restaurants and other venues stating that entry will not be permitted without proof of vaccinations. “No vaccine card; no entry.” The same goes for masks. “No mask; no entry.” How can businesses do this, you might ask!? Could this be discrimination if someone opts to not be vaccinated?


Not necessarily.


Businesses are considered private entities and have the right to refuse business to the public, so long as it is not discriminatory. Discriminatory practices can be identified if a certain person is refused business because of their race, national origin, alienage, or gender. Basically, you need to be a part of a protected class. Your vaccine status is not a part of any recognized class, and due to the public health concerns that businesses are adopting they can choose to only permit entrance to those who can show proof of vaccination (and are wearing masks). Further, most businesses are providing alternative means of providing service (such as curbside pick-ups, etc.).


As a matter of health policy, and the fact that there is a global pandemic, policy interests outweigh the minimal intrusion into your vaccination status. It also isn’t much of an ask to wear a mask (it can be taken off when eating). So please stay patient, and support your local businesses as everyone weathers through this pandemic.


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