CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago restaurant owners hoping to allay the concerns of those afraid of dining out have a solution: a section just for vaccines.
While the city is still in the transitional phase of its plan to reopen, city guidelines allow businesses to operate without restrictions as long as only vaccinated people are allowed in that area.
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These will be in place at Moe’s Cantina this weekend, where a neon bracelet will be the key to a spot in the restaurant’s unrestricted vaccinated section. The unvaccinated section will continue to have remote tables and partitions.
“We’ve decided to split up, and you’re free to come over over here, to the bar.” You may be pre-pandemic, ”said owner Sam Sanchez.
He said customers will need to show proof of their full vaccination to get a pink bracelet to relax in a seat or stool in the area without any restrictions.
“Just back to normal,” he said.
This was made possible thanks to brand new city guidelines just announced this week, stating that “facilities can operate without COVID-19 restrictions within their facility if only customers and employees who have been vaccinated are allowed to enter this area ”.
Sanchez said the city has already approved this. And that will make all the difference.
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“I think it helps businesses get back to not even breaking even but close to breaking even,” he said.
Sanchez also serves as president of the Illinois Restaurant Association. He acknowledges that there has been a lot of confusion regarding the new mask guidelines and the reopening process with federal, state and municipal differences.
“There are always new guidelines and there are a lot of communication issues,” he said.
This is why the city welcomes webinars for business owners on these new rules. Businesses with late licenses can operate without restrictions, but only if all customers are vaccinated. Dance floors can reopen without masks or distancing, again, only if a company has verified that these people are vaccinated.
“This is the direction in which we want to go to get back to normal,” Sanchez said.
Businesses can choose to only allow vaccination of people, and city officials say several businesses, especially small bars, have already reached out to this option.
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The city’s Department of Commercial Affairs and Consumer Protection issued the following statement:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chicago has worked diligently to ensure that our business community understands changing regulations and has the information it needs to keep its customers safe and secure. employees. Since the start of the pandemic, we have hosted 48 webinars reaching over 5,000 participants and made over 36,000 calls directly to businesses to inform them of the latest guidelines. As we approach the end of the pandemic, regulations are loosening and for the first time, we are providing recommendations instead of formal requirements for wearing a mask. As regulations evolve, we remain committed to continuing to share as much information as possible to help our business community navigate an ever-changing landscape.