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Unvaccinated people will soon be banned from going here, and people are furious

Published Nov 5th, 2021 12:12PM EDT
vaccine mandate
Image: Amy/Adobe

The ongoing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is unquestionably helping the world slowly get past the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest data, a little more than 50% of the global population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. To be sure, the pace of those vaccinations has been uneven. Some countries, for example, are still early in the process of vaccinating citizens. Others, like the US, are far enough along that they’re now furiously ramping up booster campaigns. Meanwhile, a COVID vaccine mandate is increasingly showing up in cities around the world. Countries are also imposing the same rules on international visitors, to curb the inflow of COVID-19 into their borders.

In Los Angeles, for example? A county health order requires proof of full vaccination in order to patronize an indoor bar, nightclub, or lounge in the county. There are variations of that same vaccine mandate found across the US. At the country level, it’s a similar story. Some are much stricter than others when it comes to who can cross the border, and how. And what they can do after they’re inside.

COVID vaccine mandate and travel restrictions

Costa Rica is one such place.

The Essential Costa Rica tourism organization, this week, updated the country’s entry rules for travelers. The update lets travelers know about a big change in a couple of months. Soon, commercial businesses won’t allow unvaccinated tourists age 12 and older to enter. The vaccine mandate takes effect in two months, starting on January 8, 2022.

The new rule applies to businesses of many kinds. They include restaurants, hotels, bars, shops, and museums. All the major vaccines are accepted, including those from Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The verification is done by showing proof via a QR code or with a printed vaccine certificate.

Here’s an important caveat, though. Costa Rica’s vaccine requirement for entering commercial establishments? It doesn’t mean unvaccinated travelers are completely barred from entering the country. Those people can still do so to visit family and friends. Or to visit properties they own in the country.

US travel ban update, and Biden vaccine rule

This all comes as the global COVID-19 death toll has now topped 5 million. President Biden, meanwhile, has also just announced an important vaccine mandate update for US businesses. It’s a long-awaited rule the US business community has been following closely.

Those over a certain size, 100 or more employees, have until after the holidays to implement the mandate. After January 4, however? That’s when workers must be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated workers must start wearing face masks by December 5. Also, they must provide a negative COVID test on a weekly basis after January 4.

November 8 is also an important COVID-related date for the US. That’s when the US is dropping its travel ban on international travelers. Something that’s been in place for as many as 21 months for some countries. And which was a dramatic early step the Trump administration took in the pandemic’s early days. Indeed, for many people? This was one of the early signs that the pandemic was serious — when the country’s borders slammed shut.

The travel rules, of course, work in tandem with vaccinations. Meanwhile, Nick Calio, chief executive of the Airlines for America industry trade group, praised the reopening in a statement. He said the “full reopening of international travel is also critical to reviving economies around the globe.” Additionally, it will reinvigorate communities and support millions of US jobs, he added.

Reactions to the news

Needless to say, there are plenty of angry people out there who don’t agree with Costa Rica’s mandate. We’ve included a few of the tamer reactions from social media, and there’s plenty more where that came from.

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.