Monday, December 20, 2021
Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) Executive Director Marc Draisen and Deputy Director for Public Affairs and Advocacy Lizzi Weyant today issued the following statement:
"Today, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu took an important step forward to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. By requiring proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, and other public venues, Mayor Wu brings Boston in line with other major American cities like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Vaccine requirements provide patrons an added margin of safety, which is also good for business. This additional layer of protection is especially needed in light of the more highly transmissible Omicron variant.
"Even more importantly, this new requirement will encourage people to get vaccinated and boosted, and to vaccinate their children as well. MAPC fully supports Mayor Wu’s action, and we will be working with cities and towns throughout the region who are prepared to implement this worthy policy with any needed local adjustments.
"Massachusetts stands at a critical juncture in the fight against COVID. With hospitals full, elective procedures delayed, and infections and deaths on the rise, we urge Governor Baker to issue a statewide indoor mask mandate and a statewide vaccine requirement similar to that issued by Mayor Wu. Since the early days of the pandemic, we have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about what policies work. Masking and vaccine requirements work, but differing requirements across municipal boundaries sow confusion and uncertainty among the very residents we all seek to protect. MAPC will work with every community that is interested in adopting such policies on the local level, but a statewide requirement would be much clearer and more effective. It is the best course of action for the health of Massachusetts residents and the long-term success of the state’s economy."