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  • Writer's pictureMaya

Will Vaccination Proof Soon Be Countrywide?

New York Makes Big Moves Against the Delta Variant

New York has long been considered an indicator of up-and-coming trends. That’s why so many eyes are on the city lately, as Mayor de Blasio recently announced that dining indoors at restaurants will now require proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

This move is the city’s latest attempt to prevent a third wave, particularly as the Delta variant threatens our return to normal. But it’s not New York City’s first go at convincing its people to get vaccinated. They’ve also tried:

  1. offering vaccinations in Grand Central Station, which was convenient for tens of thousands of busy commuters.

  2. $100 cash incentives with inoculation.

  3. requiring city workers to either get vaccinated or regularly tested.

  4. limiting social activities.

Yet despite these measures, COVID-19 cases have sextupled since June. Thanks in large part to the Delta variant, now New York needs more severe measures to keep the virus in check.

COVID-19 vaccination

Photo by Braňo on Unsplash

Not Everybody Is on Board

From politicians to restaurant owners, New Yorkers have raised concerns about what this mandate means. Restaurants in particular worry that they’ll be the ones dealing with the fallout, including angry customers who don’t want to comply with the new rules, poor reviews and added strain on their servers. For an industry that’s already been hit extremely hard by the pandemic, even more so than other businesses, something like this could be fatal.

Meanwhile, others look forward to the change. Servers, for example, don’t have the option to stay away from unvaccinated customers. Some are happy they can now guarantee their own safety. That could ultimately lead to more restaurant workers returning to the field, something that food service desperately needs right now.

These new rules start August 16th, and enforcement begins the following month as school restarts. With millions of New York City residents still vulnerable, this could be the push necessary to get a vaccination and stymy the spread of the Delta variant, as well as the mutation of more. Already, there are plenty of ways to show that you’re vaccinated, from physical cards to records you can keep in your Apple Wallet.

Where the Rest of the World Stands

This makes New York the first U.S. city to require vaccination proof, but others have already made such rules internationally. France and Italy both implemented similar requirements. Meanwhile, other American cities are talking about following suit.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, the topic has already been broached and was met with mixed reactions. While they debate, the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association is inoculating many through pop-up vaccination sites. Meanwhile, unvaccinated diners can still sit outdoors for the time being, no matter what state they’re in.

For customers who want to keep themselves safe but also want to experience the reopened world, this is good news. For those outside of New York, alternatives are popping up to let them know where it’s safe to dine out: Yelp started letting businesses signal whether customers need a vaccination to enter, and if the staff all have their shots. All of this signals that people want transparency when it comes to COVID-19, vaccines and dining out. Whether that will manifest in more states requiring vaccination proof to eat in public, inside remains to be seen.


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