MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — After receiving concern from businesses owners, the Montgomery County Council decided to push back voting on the vaccine passport mandate that would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to get into bars, restaurants, gyms, and other spots. 

Before opening the floor for a public hearing on Tuesday, Council President Gabe Albornoz said his colleagues were not ready to vote after failing to gain enough support from the community. All 18 of the residents who spoke strongly opposed this measure, saying it would do more hurting than helping businesses. 

“The best way to convince someone of the merits of something is to explain its benefits and its risks than to give them free will to make a decision,” said Rob Crouch, Montgomery County Resident. “Forcing people into something implies that you failed to convince them otherwise, and this really harms the confidence in the vaccine.”

County Executive Marc Elrich had hoped this regulation would increase vaccinations and decrease infections. Still, opponents of the mandate, including some council members, argue that there is no need for the county’s high vaccination rate. Another main concern is the burden this requirement will place on businesses. Some employees worry about enforcing this regulation when they are already burned out from staff shortages. 

“This proposal is anti-business anti-science, anti-people who operate businesses in Montgomery County,” said Megan Montgomery/ Montgomery County Resident. “I barely have the ability to hire people now to actually do my legitimate work.”

President of the council, Gabe Albornoz says there are no immediate plans to bring this mandate to the council to vote.