Starting Monday in Chicago and suburban Cook County, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for dining indoors, visiting fitness centers, or going to places with food. and drinks are served.
Announcing the requirement late last month, the city of Chicago said the policy was “in response to an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases both locally and nationally, driven in part by the omicron variant.” .
Under the new guidelines, people aged 5 and over must show full proof of vaccination, but anyone aged 16 and over will also need to provide identification that matches their vaccination record.
In preparation for the new policy, the iconic Manny’s Deli in the South Loop has installed new signs to inform diners.
“Obviously, we understand that safety is very important, if this is what the city considers the most important thing for us at the moment, we will go ahead and comply,” said the owner Dan Raskin.
The facility even hired staff to verify clients’ proof of vaccination.
“We have asked our staff to get people to prepare it for us at the end of the cafeteria line, and we are just going to ask people to be prepared and understand and try to don’t blame their frustrations on our staff, ”he said.
The Illinois Restaurant Association delivered a similar message.
Suburban Cook County will join Chicago in demanding proof of vaccination for indoor public spaces like bars, restaurants and gyms in the New Year, Co-Chief and Physician Dr Rachel Rubin said Thursday. -Head of the Cook County Public Health Department.
“… Throughout the pandemic, the industry has placed the safety of customers and team members above all else, and the IRA strongly supports vaccinations for everyone to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, “Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said, in part. “We encourage all diners to lend their cooperation, respect and kindness to the employees who are working to comply with the new mandate during these difficult times. “
Health officials believe this requirement may help keep the growing number of COVID-19 cases at bay.
“Only if we follow all of this great public health advice that we have been talking about since the very beginning of this pandemic can we all get through this,” said Dr Kiran Joshi of the Cook County Public Health Department. .
At Manny’s Deli, Raskin rolls with the punches and hopes for the best for his business.
“We’re going to keep going forward and hope that people keep coming in, and we’ll survive that like we’ve got everything else so far,” he said.
Starting Jan. 3, Chicago will require proof of vaccination for many indoor public spaces as the city works to fight what authorities are calling “the biggest wave of COVID we’ve seen since before vaccines hit. are available “.
Suburban Cook County’s proof of vaccination – which includes all suburbs except Evanston, Skokie, Oak Park, and Stickney – requires proof of vaccination in accordance with the Chicago warrant.
Even with proof of vaccination requirements, masks are still mandatory indoors in public areas. Oak Park, Skokie and Evanston plan to implement similar proof of vaccination rules.