The city of Philadelphia announced Monday that all facilities that sell food or drinks will soon have to require proof of vaccination for customers to partake in their offerings.
Only fully vaccinated patrons will be allowed in affected establishments beginning Jan. 3, 2022, the city said in a release. For the first two weeks of the mandate, a negative COVID-19 test from within the prior 24 hours may be substituted, but beginning Jan. 17, only full vaccination will be sufficient.
BREAKING: Philadelphia will require proof of vaccination to eat indoors in restaurants or drink inside bars starting Jan. 3. Details here: https://t.co/KrIfFshml9
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) December 13, 2021
“We’ve come an incredibly long way, but there is still work to be done to get Philadelphia through the pandemic,” Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney said. “New cases and hospitalizations are rising, and we must do more to protect our residents. The City’s indoor mask mandate helped us control case rates this fall, so we are rolling out a complementary vaccine mandate for food establishments, where masking is not feasible.”
People who cannot be vaccinated are exempt from the regulation, including children under five years of age, people with a signed medical exemption from their doctor, or people with religious exemptions.
The mandate applies primarily to places that sell food and drinks for on-site consumption, and thus will not apply in places like supermarkets and childcare facilities. In addition to bars and restaurants, the mandate will apply to sporting venues, movie theaters, casinos and other entertainment venues with food.