Parents who were planning to have dinner with their kids in the Big Apple on Monday were shocked to learn that children aged 5 to 11 can’t walk into restaurants without being vaccinated against the coronavirus – and the rule is on the verge of take revenge harder.
Erik St. Martin, a software engineer from Florida, 38, said he and his daughter Allie, 7, were turned away from the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square because she had not received any photos.
“We’re in New York for another week and it’s going to be a real pain not to be allowed to eat in restaurants,” said St. Martin.
“We didn’t know the mandate for the children’s vaccines when we booked our family vacation months ago,” he said.
Costa Rican tourists Jose Santana, 37, and Daniela Alfaro, 36, said they were forced to tear up their itinerary – and may even cut short their visit to the city with children Victoria, 9, and Marcelo, 5. year.
“We are vaccinated but our children are not because in Costa Rica young children cannot be vaccinated yet,” Santana said.
“All we can do is do some outdoor activities like take a walk through Central Park and Times Square.”
He added: “It’s very frustrating. We were supposed to be in New York for six more days, but we’ll try to shorten our trip.
An update to the ‘Key to NYC’ vaccination mandate that Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month required all children 12 years of age and older to be fully immunized – with two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer formulations, or any of the Johnson & Johnson formulations – to enter restaurants, gyms and cinemas or other entertainment venues from December 14.
Children 5 to 11 years old only needed one dose but will need to be fully immunized from Wednesday.
At the island-themed restaurant Margaritaville Resort Times Square, host Christina Myers said she turned down more than 20 potential diners at noon.
“They can eat out, but who’s going to eat out with 5 and 6 year olds this weather?” she said. Temperatures in the city peaked at 38 degrees in Central Park on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
“Foreigners don’t understand why we had to refuse them. Even the people of Union City, New Jersey were confused.
Chris McCormack, who runs the Brooklyn Diner in Times Square, said more than 40 starving people have been denied entry, but said the loss of revenue will pay off in the long run.
“No business wants restrictions, but most of my business comes from theaters and they can’t stay open unless everyone is vaccinated,” McCormack said.
Queens mother Anna Nowak, 35, said she only learned the rules when she brought her 5-year-old son to Manhattan on Monday – the same day Blasio’s vaccine tenure in the area private has entered into force.
“We can’t go anywhere now because we are not going to vaccinate our son,” she said.
“We will look for restaurants in New Jersey and Long Island where we can eat as a family. “
Nowak added, “If we have to buy food today, we will send it away. “