Restaurants, bars and indoor venues may face up to $5,000 in fines if they don’t require patrons to show proof of vaccination, under an August executive order by Mayor Bill de Blasio. All indoor venues will have to check that everyone age 12 and up who enters their premises shows proof of vaccination, which must match the information on their official identification document, which must also be shown.

Enforcement is set to begin Sept. 13. Violations will incur penalties of at least $1,000. That number will rise to at least $2,000 for a second violation and at least $5,000 for a third. The city will send out inspectors from various agencies to check compliance. Prior to that, the city sent out 570 canvassers to all businesses to help them understand the plan.

Venues must hang a sign communicating the vaccination requirement.

The executive order defines a wide range of indoor venues that must check for vaccine passes – including movie theaters, casinos, indoor portions of botanical gardens, adult entertainment spaces, commercial event and party venues, museums, aquariums and zoos, sports arenas and indoor stadiums, convention centers and exhibition halls, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor play areas and billiards halls, as well as any indoor part of a restaurant, and all indoor gym and fitness settings, including pools, dance studios and hotel gyms.

Certain spaces and actions have been left exempt, including outdoor dining. Those who do not wish to show proof of vaccination can enter a venue if they need to use the bathroom or make deliveries or pickups, whether as a customer or vendor. Restaurants that offer only takeout (with no indoor seating) do not have to card. Venues can choose to enforce stricter rules than the city’s requirements.

The proof of vaccination is inclusive of foreign vaccines, as long as the official record is presented. A photo or hard copy of any vaccination card is acceptable, as are the state’s Excelsior Pass app or the NYC COVID Safe app. The executive order requires covered venues to comply with future guidelines issued by the city to increase vaccination rates.

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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