More cities in the U.S. are turning to indoor vaccine and testing mandates in order to curb the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, which is quickly becoming the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S.
According to CNN, cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago and others have all recently instituted or announced these new mandates.
Los Angeles has been mandating full vaccination for food and beverage establishments since November 29. California is also currently under an indoor mask mandate through January 15; it began last week.
New York City’s Key To NYC mandate has been in place since September 13, but will become stricter beginning December 27, when it will require everyone twelve and older to provide proof of full vaccination instead of partial vaccination to enter movie theaters, restaurants and other places.
Another early vaccine mandate was announced prior to the new Omicron variant in New Orleans. Anyone twelve or older must provide proof of at least partial vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter restaurants, bars, music venues, casinos and other places.
San Francisco is currently under a vaccination mandate for entry to gyms, bars, restaurants and other venues. It began August 20 and does not provide an option for testing negative instead.
Seattle requires patrons over twelve years old of restaurants, bars, indoor sporting events and outdoor sporting events with over 500 individuals to be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
More cities are now following in these cities’ footsteps, instituting vaccine mandates or vaccine and testing mandates to begin in the first month of the new year.
Boston will begin mandating proof of vaccination for individuals twelve and older for access to indoor dining, fitness venues, theaters and sporting arenas. Proof of a single dose begins January 15, while proof of full vaccination begins February 15, 2022.
Chicago will require proof of full vaccination beginning January 3 for patrons six years of age and older of businesses such as bars, gyms, theaters and entertainment or sporting venues that serve food and drinks. Unvaccinated employees of any of these venues are exempt, provided they test negative regularly, said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Another January 3 vaccine mandate comes to Philadelphia, where proof of vaccination will be required for restaurants, theaters and other venues where food and drinks are served. The first two weeks of the mandate, these places will also accept a negative COVID-19 test taking within 24 hours of entry. On January 18, only fully vaccinated individuals can enter.
The rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, no matter which variant is spreading, is prompting more cities across the country and the wider world to choose to incentivize vaccines and curb the spread of coronavirus cases by these new mandates. It’s expected that more cities will follow suit.