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Hudson Valley businesses push back on denying service to unvaccinated customers

State workers face vax-or-test under new COVID-19 mandates

News 12 Staff

Jul 29, 2021, 12:06 PM

Updated 1,057 days ago

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Business owners across the state are once again caught in a tough situation as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging private business owners and restaurants to deny service to unvaccinated guests.
Small businesses are just starting to find some solid ground again after pandemic restrictions changed a number of times over the past year and now, some say Gov. Cuomo is calling for yet another roadblock in foot traffic by encouraging business owners to deny customers based on vaccination status.
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Gov. Cuomo says he believes this will be a clear incentive for unvaccinated individuals to roll up their sleeves.
At the moment, this is a push from the state and a choice for private business owners to accept or deny customers based on vaccination status.
Some business owners say they are already dealing with several challenges on the road to recovery, including staffing shortages and reviving pre-pandemic cash-flow. Some even say demanding a customer's vaccination status prior to serving them would put them in an unfair situation. "I think it's very difficult to ask local businesses to enforce this. These are difficult times, and clear leadership needs to give us a clear decision- slowly. Not change it every week. Update it, not change it," says restaurant owner Peter Herero.
While the governor says he believes this could also help businesses attract what he says would be a safer environment, some local owners and staff say they don't want to put themselves in a position where they have to deny unvaccinated guests. "We feel that we can't ask everybody, every individual person, that comes in here to see their vaccination card," says Cassandra Moretti, of Boiano Bakery in Mamaroneck. "I think we store owners have to trust people," says Anthony Caligiuri, of Harrison.
Gov. Cuomo says lawmakers will need to return to session in Albany before any new vaccine mandate can be approved, and right now, it's unclear when or if that'll happen.


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