A look at the legalities of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for events

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Credit: via WINK News.

Some events could soon require you to have been vaccinated for the coronavirus to let you in. We were asked by a viewer if this is even legal, so WINK News took that question to experts.

We were told it depends on who or what is making the requirement and when, and people we spoke to Thursday had mixed opinions about whether places should require vaccines.

As more people become protected through vaccination during the pandemic, the question is can it also say “No vaccine, no service.”

“The more business owners that are on board for that, I think it is just an encouragement for people,” said Steve Schmittendorf, who was visiting Southwest Florida from Buffalo.

Attorney Pam Seay, an FGCU professor of justice studies, says private is the key word to a vaccine requirement. If a private event on private property wants everyone to be vaccinated, yes.

The same goes for a private business that might require a vaccine, but the business should offer an alternative in order to receive the service.

Seay says a vaccine requirement is still sticky territory.

“There are no clear answers at this time, and I do foresee that there will be court challenges in the event that vaccine requirements come in to play or in the event that this COVID crisis continues for too much longer,” Seay said.

Although private businesses technically can require vaccines, should they? Southwest Florida has mixed feelings.

“I’m not sure because what are we gonna do? We’re gonna have to carry some sort of card with us now in order to get into some facility or whatever,” said Susan Shmittendorf, visiting from Buffalo.

“I just wanna go somewhere and have a cold beer. If I have to show five cards, I’ll do it,” Steve said.

We also spoke to a man who did not want to share his name for air or publication. But he told us restrictions for events based on whether people are vaccinated would be extreme.

Seay says enforcing a vaccine requirement might be the real problem. She says there are already cases of fake vaccine cards out there.

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