Some Chicago restaurants say city’s vaccination mandate deadline unreasonable

CHICAGO – In a week, restaurants in Chicago will have to verify proof of vaccination.

But members of the Chicago Restaurant Coalition spoke out on Monday and said the deadline was too tight and too vague.

In a press conference on Zoom, Roger Romanelli of the Coalition and the Fulton Market Association said the city should have given business owners at least 30 days’ notice, not 13.

“Restaurants cannot continue to be overburdened by government regulation without notice and without the proper help from the government,” he said.

On December 21, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that indoor sites across the city will need to verify full proof of vaccination in people 5 years of age and older. This applies to indoor catering establishments, gymnasiums and places of entertainment and recreation where food and drink are served.

The term begins on January 3.

Mary Kay Tuzi owns the Twin Anchors Restaurant in the Old Town. She said it would be difficult and expensive to find someone to check immunization cards.

“Just trying to find staff right now is insane to begin with,” she said.

Romanelli wants the city and the federal government to allocate money to restaurants to help cover these costs.

“And now we’re asking them to check vaccine papers and IDs, and maybe hire new staff and spend time with their lawyers, and maybe pay extra people to set up. security cameras, ”he said. “They don’t have the money to do this.

The coalition also wants instructions on what to do if someone doesn’t comply.

They are asking the city and the police department to publish a clear plan.

“To provide written instructions to restaurants in case they have angry and unruly customers,” Romanelli said. “So we want restaurants to be prepared to work closely with the police department.”

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