Philadelphia, a city run by Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney, already has a ban on plastic bags, tax on sugary drinks, and 529** homicides this year so far – and now they will require restaurants and other locations to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
Infection rates have doubled and hospitalizations increased by 50% in the last few weeks, prompting the city to go into action against the virus.
Proof of a vaccine will soon be needed for everyone who wants to eat inside a restaurant or other food establishment in order to help prevent another shutdown of indoor dining.
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said that this mandate is set to begin on January 3, when guests will have to show their vaccination card and a form of government identification. “Any place that sells food or drink to be consumed on-site will have to require that everyone who enters be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Bettigole said.
In the first two weeks of this mandate, January 3 – January 17, restaurants will have a choice if they want to accept proof of the negative COVID test instead of proof of vaccination. The negative test must have been done within 24 hours. After that negative tests won’t be accepted anymore.
Children aged 5-11 and employees will have some extra time to get vaccinated, but the city is asking those groups to get their first dose by January 3 and the second dose by February 3.
This requirement won’t apply to people who do not have to be vaccinated, including children under 5 or people with certain exemptions, but they will still need a negative test to enter establishments that can host more than 1,000 people.
Institutions like schools and soup kitchens or shelters that serve the vulnerable population will not require proof of vaccination or negative tests.
President of Business Operations for the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center, Valerie Camillo, said that they ‘already hosted several events where proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test were required for all guests,’ and that they are ready to comply.
75.8% of Philadelphians 18+ are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Action News Data Journalism Team.
The community had mixed reactions to this new mandate, as some of them think that if they need to be vaccinated in order to eat in a restaurant they are okay with doing so, and some of them just think that it is maybe a ‘little extreme.’
The plastic bag ban was passed in 2019, but implemented this summer. Philadelphia’s 529 homicides** has residents uneasy.
** at the time of this article being published. The number might go up after publication.