DeFusco: Incentivize Hoboken Bars To Require Proof of Vaccination
HOBOKEN – Councilman Mike DeFusco is calling on Mayor Ravi Bhalla to financially incentivize local bars that voluntarily choose to require proof of vaccination before patrons are allowed to enter an establishment without a mask. In return for doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, bars and other eateries would be granted a waiver on daily parklete costs, or other City mandated operational fees, for the remainder of the year. Those who do not wish to participate would be subject to the fees as written in Hoboken’s outdoor dining regulations. Unlike in New York City, no one would be prohibited from entering a business based on their vaccination status, unless new statewide guidelines are issued.
“The Delta variant of COVID-19 has proven to be significantly more contagious than any previous strain of the virus and with the number of bars and individuals who come to our city for nightlife activities, Hoboken is uniquely situated to be at an even greater risk of infection,” said First Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, who represents the neighborhood with a majority of Hoboken’s bars. “Incentivizing businesses that are willing to take additional measures to prevent the spread of this virus, specifically tightly packed bars, is a win for both public health and safety in our City and provides additional relief for small businesses who have struggled to make ends meet over the past year and a half.”
Given the emergent need to address the spread of COVID-19, DeFusco is asking Mayor Bhalla to immediately begin implementing a vaccine incentive program for businesses. Presenting this as an ordinance would require two meetings of the City Council and for the Mayor to sign this into law — a nearly two month process.