CHICAGO (CBS) — Monday brings big changes for restaurants and many other businesses in Chicago as a vaccination mandate goes into effect.
Many restaurants owners who have spoken with CBS 2 say they wish they had more time to prepare for this. The vaccination requirement applies to all restaurants’ employees and customers.
It has not come without a bit of pushback from restuarnts in both the city and some suburbs. Last week, the Chicago Restaurant Coalition delivered a formal request to the mayor’s office, asking to extend the deadline to Jan. 15 along with federal money to help impletement the changes that with this mandate.
There will be mandatory COVID-19 testing weekly for employees who are not vaccianted. The city has said inspectors will be checking in on businesses, and those who do not comply can face fines anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000.
It comes at a time when restaurants are already short staffed in the midst of this public health crisis. Some are saying they simply need more time.
“I think what restaurants what is just fair reciprocity,” said Kevin Boehm with the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “They want to say, ‘Hey we’re going to do our part. We’re going to make it as safe as possible, but help us on the other hand so it doesn’t kill our business and at the same time lose jobs for all these hard working people.”
The mandate applies to anyone 5 years old and up.
No proof of vaccination is required to pick up a takeout order or for outdoor dining.
Starting Monday restaurants will accept either a photocopy of a vacciantion card or even a clear photo of it on a phone.