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Some New York City restaurants start requiring vaccine for guests

You'll need a vaccine card to secure some of the hottest tables in town.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

The debate over vaccine passports has raged on since the COVID-19 vaccines first became available stateside, with no formal resolution, other than, well, choose your own vaxxed adventure. In May, New York launched the Excelsior Pass, the nation's first vaccine passport, but if you've gone out at all this summer, you know how infrequently this official proof of vaccination is required. With the lifting of the indoor mask mandate, several businesses, in alignment with New York State regulations, have posted signs requesting that guests self-certify their vaccine states: Unvaccinated guests are welcome, but must remain masked.

Now, several restaurants are taking it upon themselves to further verify the safety of their employees and diners, by requiring that everyone who enters their space provide proof of vaccination. 

Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) CEO and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer announced on July 29 that come September 7, all USHG staff and indoors diners be vaccinated. Mayor de Blasio instantly shared his support of the decision by the renowned restaurateur.

"This is HUGE. @dhmeyer is one of the most influential restaurant owners in the business and when he leads, others follow," the mayor shared in a tweet. "New York City fully supports this move. More businesses should mandate vaccines for the safety of workers and the safety of our city." While a mayor doesn't have the power to mandate vaccines, he could, theoretically, mandate that vaccines be required to enter customer-facing businesses, as France just did.

Several more trendy New York City restaurants require proof of vaccination before diners can be seated: Dame, Estela, City Winery, Joseph Leonard, Frenchette, Cervo's, Cafe Altro Paradiso , Forsythia and many more are tightening their restrictions. Performance venues, like Comedy Cellar, The Delacorte Theatre and more are also requiring that all admitting show proof of vaccination. 

As always, if you have any questions about if a place you're heading to requires proof of vaccination, it's always a good idea to call ahead.

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