Eight members of the city council's Committee on Health and Human Relations sent a letter to Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on Friday asking her to mandate proof of vaccination for places like restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms, and concert halls.
"It's just like an ID card. I experienced it when traveling to Puerto Rico," said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th). "You whip out the picture on your phone, show it to the host and you were seated indoors. It’s simple and we can protect workers who have been working under dangerous situations or working in the hospitality industry for the past year."
This is something that is already in place in other major U.S. cities including New York City, San Francisco and New Orleans.
The committee members who signed the letter were Alds. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), Scott Waguespack (32th), Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33th), Andre Vasquez (40th), Michele Smith (43th), Matt Martin (47th) and Maria Hadden (49th).
The letter cited transmission of the Delta variant, the threat of new variants, and the approach of colder weather driving people indoors as reasons to begin requiring proof of vaccination for indoor activities. The letter also noted that the vaccine is FDA approved, easily accessible and free.
Ald. Ramirez-Rosa says some businesses are having challenges enforcing the policy and feel that the power of a city mandate would be helpful.
So far, the only vaccine mandate put in place by Mayor Lori Lightfoot is for city workers.