City leaders consider vaccination mandate for tourists for potential Mardi Gras 2022


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) The future of Mardi Gras 2022 is far from certain, but if it’s a go, travelers may have to show proof of vaccination.

We reached out to the City for comment on what festival season could look like for visitors, they provided us with this statement that reads in part:

The city is carefully considering appropriate safeguards and protocols for a potential 2022 Mardi Gras celebration — which may include additional vaccination mandates, for visitors and for riders,

Beau Tidwell, City of New Orleans Communications Director

But will a possible vaccine mandate for visitors deter them from coming to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras?

“I think it would be great because then, you know, we wouldn’t have to worry about spreading it, and then we could have our Mardi Gras back,” said visitor Elizabeth Padgett.

“I am not a in favor of vaccine mandates,” said visitor Patrick Light.

We spoke to Brian Mullin, owner of Local 718 on Bourbon Street, for his take on the possible mandate.

“Mardi Gras is to New Orleans what Christmas is to the United States of America. Without Mardi Gras, people here feel like their year didn’t start right, so it hinders us. So, if the mayor wants to do that, I’m for whatever is going to help our economy and bring business and keep businesses open in New Orleans,” said Mullin.

We also reached out to New Orleans and Company, the city’s tourism office, for their perspective on how a vaccine mandate could affect business. They provided us with this statement that reads in part:

“This kind of approach, if implemented, would be hugely disruptive to the entire economy of New Orleans and have a tremendously negative financial effect on New Orleans residents who depend on the travel industry,”

Stephen Perry, CEO and President, New Orleans and Company

Locals seem to have mixed feelings about the possible mandate.

“I think it’s BS. It’s not right,” said Houma native Jonathan Smith.

“It’s a good idea in mind, but I feel like it’s going to be tough to execute that,” said New Orleans native Grace Ciaston.

The City says they plan to use next weekend’s Krewe of Boo celebration as a “test case” and say the New Orleans Department of Health will closely monitor the potential impact of the event in the following weeks.

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