NYC restaurants still require proof of vaccination
On Tuesday night, about 20 people descended on the Dame in Greenwich Village to protest a restaurant’s request that indoor diners provide proof of vaccination, a day after the city dropped its vaccine mandate.
One owner, Patricia Howard, said five people entered the small seafood restaurant and did not leave, while others, angered by the restaurant’s decision to ask for proof of vaccinations, crowded outside. Police were called several times, she said, and a neighboring restaurant, Carbone, sent a security guard to help plan the security.
“They have every right to protest outside on the street,” said Ed Szymanski, the restaurant’s chef and owner. “I don’t want them to threaten employees and encroach on private property. If they want to stand out with picket boards, be our guest.
When the city on Monday ended its requirement that restaurants ask indoor diners for proof of vaccinations, it was left up to owners to voluntarily continue to make those requests. And some restaurants, such as dems, are unwilling to give up on the security measure they see as a way to protect their customers and employees.
The incident at the Dame began around 8 p.m., when Ms. Howard asked two men to leave. They had arrived without reservation and the restaurant was fully booked, he said, adding that the men did not provide proof of vaccination and tried to sit at the bar. The men eventually left, but returned with the others and a protest broke out.
New York’s move to eliminate the need for a vaccine, one of the country’s most restrictive, was part of a broader effort to reopen the city, whose economy is still struggling, and with the rate of new Covid-19 cases. After that to bring back the feeling of normalcy. dropped, Mayor Eric Adams said. The declaration followed as other cities, such as Philadelphia, and states ended their mandates. On February 10, Governor Kathy Hochul ended a statewide rule requiring indoor businesses to wear masks or proof of vaccination.
The mandate was introduced last August by Mr. Adams’ predecessor, Bill de Blasio. During the boom of the Delta version, some restaurants in the city and across the country established their own rules weeks ago.
Some restaurant owners, such as Ms. Howard of Dame (one of the first places in New York City to ask diners for vaccine cards), are now concerned about the prospect of disorganized guests who are nervous about vaccines. She felt that the mayor’s termination of the vaccine requirement was a sign that the restaurant was not supported by the city. “It feels like we’re on our own now,” she said.
Other owners said they fear that by relaxing the requirements, they may end up back where they started with new Covid variants or surges.
“At this point in our lives, we think small moves are better than big moves,” said Marc St. Jacques, operating owner and chef of Bar Bet, a restaurant in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens, who said managers are determined to continue. has decided the vaccine requirement after meeting with its staff, which supported the mandate. “We go through it little by little to find out what the best thing is.”
Restaurateurs said the vaccination requirement could protect employees from Covid and missing work, or force restaurants to close, as many did when the Omicron version went up this winter.
Kyo Pang, owner of Kopitiyam, a fast-casual restaurant serving Nyonya cuisine on the Lower East Side, said, “Everyone needs money to survive, but I care about my employees more than anything. ” Before deciding to expand the restaurant’s vaccine requirement, he met with employees who supported the move. “We wanted people to feel like this is their second home.”
For Sivan Harlap, a restaurant on the Lower East Side, the need for proof of vaccination has helped her eat regularly at Eastwood and Dancer feels more comfortable eating out, she said.
“We feel like our community prefers to live indoors in a place where most or all of them are vaccinated,” she said. “It’s the thing that feels right to us.”
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