New regulations in the United States to prevent the spread of COVID-19 illustrate how individual freedoms are on the line. States such as California and New York impose measures leading to mandatory vaccination.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reinstated the recommendation that vaccinated people wear masks in certain situations, several states in the country have begun to establish measures that directly or indirectly oblige Americans to be vaccinated.
Although immunization is necessary to reduce mortality, lessen symptoms and somehow avoid the emergence of new variants, the new impositions are an attack against free will and the freedom of each individual to choose whether to be vaccinated.
Restriction-filled California moves closer to mandatory vaccination
The San Francisco Bar Owners Alliance told NBC News that its members will begin implementing the rule on July 29.
“We believe we are obligated to protect our workers and their families and to offer safe space for customers to relax and socialize,” the group said in a statement.
The announcement came on the same day that California Gov. Gavin Newsom required state and health care employees to be vaccinated or get tested weekly.
“As the state’s largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same,” Newsom said in a statement.
Montclair, a city in Southern California, ordered vaccinated government employees to wear decals if they want to work without masks. Edward Starr told the San Bernardino Sun that workers who have not been vaccinated or who do not provide proof or verification of their COVID-19 vaccination must wear masks.
Also, the Health Department ordered people over the age of 2 who have not been vaccinated to wear masks in enclosed public spaces and in stores.
New York also with restrictions
New York City will require every government worker to be tested for COVID-19 weekly or, failing that, to show proof of full vaccination.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all of his city workers, including teachers and police officers, will be required to be vaccinated by mid-September or face weekly virus testing.
While not officially a vaccination mandate, officials hope the inconvenience and discomfort of weekly testing will convince many to overcome reluctance to get vaccinated.
Ahead of the start of face-to-face classes, the three largest U.S. school districts (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) will require students to wear masks in schools.
Florida and Texas: states with more freedom
While in California even bars require a kind of “vaccination passport”, Texas and Florida prohibit such a requirement.
Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis banned businesses and government agencies from requiring citizens to show a certificate of vaccination to use their services.
As the White House considers re-requiring vaccines to wear masks and while the nation’s 12 major districts will require masks, the governors of Florida and Texas also banned face-covering mandates in schools.