Will you soon have to show proof of a vaccine to eat at restaurants?

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccine - restaurants
Photo via Marco Verch Professional Photographer/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Some bars and restaurants around the country will begin requiring patrons to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country, a number of bars and restaurants are heightening restrictions in an effort to keep their staff and patrons safe. Restaurants in Los Angeles and New York are already requiring proof of a vaccination or a negative COVID test to gain entry, and more are likely to follow.

In Los Angeles, a handful of restaurants have already made the decision to require proof of a vaccine. However, it could spell trouble for participating locations. This is not only due to the inevitable backlash the restaurants will get from anti-vax groups but also from the monetary blow they will take from the loss of unvaccinated clientele.

In New York City, the decision is far more widespread. New York City will soon become the first U.S. city to require proof of vaccination to eat at restaurants and for a range of other activities including attending concerts or visiting the gym. The program, beginning on Aug. 16, will require proof of at least one COVID vaccination to allow entry. It will undergo a brief adjustment period between Aug. 16-Sept. 13, when enforcement will officially begin. 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the heightened restrictions on Aug. 3, noting that city workers will be required to get a vaccine or agree to weekly COVID testing. 

“This is going to be a requirement,” de Blasio said. “The only way to patronize these establishments is if you are vaccinated, at least one dose. The same for folks in terms of work, they will need at least one dose.”

In New York City, people can choose between using their paper vaccine card as proof or providing proof of a vaccine via an app. The process will likely be a bit shaky as it rolls out, but it aims to prevent the city from suffering another serious wave of the virus. 

COVID cases are currently surging around the country. The current 7-day average rate of infections has risen 66.3% from July’s peak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The current 7-day average is 114,190, up 18.4% from the prior week’s average of 96,454.

Sources: New York Times, ABC, CDC

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