‘I think it’ll hurt business’: Philadelphia restaurant owners react to new vaccine mandate for indoor dining

Philadelphia restaurant owners are trying to determine how the new citywide Covid-19 vaccination mandate for indoor dining will impact operations after local officials announced the policy on Monday morning.   

For months, Philadelphia eateries could choose either checking guest vaccination cards or requiring masks when not eating or drinking. But starting Jan. 3, local restaurants must require that customers dining indoors provide proof of vaccination, like in other cities including San Francisco and New York. 

Business owners are meeting this latest Covid-19 mandate for restaurants with mixed reactions. 

Human Robot Brewing in Olde Kensington has already been checking vaccination cards, so not much will change for operations, said Co-Owner Jake Atkinson. Still, he hopes the formal announcement will provide customers with clarity and help ward off arguments. 

Many guests have been confused by the mask-or-vaccine policy differing from restaurant to restaurant, he added, with people not understanding why they must wear a mask in one establishment and not another. A lot of visitors to the Kensington brewery come from out of town, including New Jersey and the suburbs, and are unfamiliar with the Philadelphia rules, Atkinson noted. Some vaccinated people also don’t bring proof with them. 

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

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