Like many cities and states across the nation, New York City recently rescinded its order that patrons of restaurants provide proof of vaccination. Many restaurants, however, have established their own policy of no vaccine, no service. Some people don’t like this, and many showed up outside a restaurant to protest.
The protesters don’t want to be forced to do something contrary to their own judgment. This is understandable and proper. However, acting on our own judgment requires us to respect the freedom of others to act on their judgment. The protesters fail to grasp this point. They want to pressure restaurant owners to act as they—the protesters—think appropriate.
Sadly, some restaurant owners who still have vaccine requirements are upset with the city for dropping its vaccine mandate. One owner expressed concern about the potential for patrons to cause problems because of the vaccine requirement. “It feels like we’re now on our own,” she said.
On the one hand, the restaurant owners want the freedom to establish their own policies and act as they think best. On the other hand, they won’t want individuals to have the freedom to act as they think best. They want the government to force people to get vaccinated or stay out of their restaurant.
Restaurant owners have a moral right to establish a policy of no vaccine, no service. Patrons have a moral right to decide whether that requirement is acceptable or not. When government stays out of the way, each is free to act as he thinks best. However, when government established mandates, then freedom of choice is removed.
If a restaurant owner thinks that a policy of no vaccine, no service is best for his employees and customers, he should be free to act accordingly. If a patron does not like a policy of no vaccine, no service, they remain free to go to another restaurant. A private vaccine requirement does not prevent unvaccinated individuals from dining out elsewhere. A government vaccine mandate prohibits unvaccinated individuals from dining out anywhere.