Solely those that current proof of Covid-19 vaccination and ID shall be allowed into Chicago bars, eating places and gymnasiums after the brand new 12 months, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has introduced, calling the mandate “inconvenient by design.”
Citing the surge in coronavirus instances within the largest Illinois metropolis, the Democrat mayor stated she had “no alternative” however to impose the mandate, as a way to forestall hospitals from being overwhelmed.
“For those who want to dwell life as usually as potential, with the convenience to do issues that you just love, you have to be vaccinated within the metropolis of Chicago beginning January 3,” Lightfoot introduced on Tuesday. “This well being order might pose an inconvenience to the unvaccinated, and actually is inconvenient by design.”
Beneath the mandate, anybody over the age of 5 who needs to dine indoors, work out at a fitness center, or go to a Chicago leisure venue the place meals or drinks are served, must present proof of vaccination. These 16 and older may also have to indicate a driver’s license or one other type of ID that matches their vaccination file.
Grocery shops with out indoor eating sections, homes of worship, and eating places and bars at Halfway and O’Hare airports shall be exempt from the mandate, as will charity kitchens, faculties and daycare facilities.
The order doesn’t apply to staff, nevertheless. Institutions that want to rent individuals who aren’t absolutely vaccinated might want to “be sure that these staff each proceed to masks when interacting with patrons and supply proof of a weekly adverse check” for Covid-19.
This exemption was the product of lobbying by retail and restaurant associations, which additionally persuaded Lightfoot to postpone the mandate till after Christmas and New 12 months’s celebrations, in keeping with the Chicago Solar-Instances.
Illinois Retail Retailers Affiliation President Rob Karr identified the mandate gained’t apply to anybody coming into an institution for lower than 10 minutes – reminiscent of individuals selecting up carryout, making deliveries, or utilizing the restroom.
It’ll, nevertheless, apply to weddings and personal events the place meals is served, Lightfoot stated on the press convention on Tuesday. The order shall be enforced with progressively stronger penalties.
“I don’t need to should go there. We must be well past that time the place we see individuals… attempting to place their earnings over the well being and security of their patrons and their staff. And if we see that, then we’re gonna carry the hammer down. There’s no query,” she stated.
Requested if “extra excessive” measures could also be wanted down the highway, Lightfoot stated that can depend upon “the unvaccinated.”
“Our future is gonna depend on whether or not or not they cease being hesitant and get the vaccine,” she stated.
Alderman Tom Tunney, who owns three Chicago eateries, stated the mandate will make issues “extra burdensome” and lift prices for eating places already combating a workers scarcity, however is healthier than a lockdown.
“There’s no good popping out of this factor. However, given the place we’re at and this newest surge, I assume it’s the prudent factor to do at this level. We definitely don’t need to be shut down,” he instructed the Solar-Instances.
About 20% of Chicago’s 7,300-plus eating places have folded to date in the course of the pandemic.