ELEVEN NYC restaurants were tested and discovered not to be enforcing proof-of-vaccination mandate


During a recent investigation, it was discovered that 11 out of 15 New York City restaurants were not enforcing the city’s proof-of-vaccine mandate despite the city’s aggressive step to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

In a segment airing Thursday, INSIDE EDITION visited fifteen different restaurants at random to see if they’re enforcing the city mandate. 

Of the fifteen restaurants they visited, 11 did not enforce proof of vaccination and a matching form of ID for restaurant indoor dining.   

During a recent investigation, it was discovered that 11 out of 15 New York City restaurants were not enforcing the city’s proof-of-vaccine mandate despite the city’s aggressive step to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases

Of the fifteen restaurants INIDE EDITION producers visited, 11 did not enforce proof of vaccination and a matching form of ID for restaurant indoor dining

Of the fifteen restaurants INIDE EDITION producers visited, 11 did not enforce proof of vaccination and a matching form of ID for restaurant indoor dining

When producers visited an eatery on the Upper East Side, they were seated indoors right away – with no questions asked. 

At another popular East Side restaurant called Burger-Fi, the restaurant allowed a producer to order and eat indoors without showing any proof of vaccination – despite the restaurant having signs which read  ‘show me your vax.’   

Producers returned the following day and spoke to a manager. 

‘We did have a producer come by last night who was able to sit inside, and he said he wasn’t asked for proof of vaccine card or anything,’ said INSIDE EDITION’s Ann Mercogliano.

At another popular East Side restaurant called Burger-Fi, the restaurant allowed a producer to order and eat indoors without showing any proof of vaccination - despite the restaurant having signs which read 'show me your vax.'

At another popular East Side restaurant called Burger-Fi, the restaurant allowed a producer to order and eat indoors without showing any proof of vaccination – despite the restaurant having signs which read ‘show me your vax.’ 

Despite signs that read 'show us your vax,' hosts at Burger Fi in the Upper East Side seated producers without asking to see proof of their vaccine

Despite signs that read ‘show us your vax,’ hosts at Burger Fi in the Upper East Side seated producers without asking to see proof of their vaccine 

Producers were able to order and eat indoors at Burger Fi without showing proof of vaccine

Producers were able to order and eat indoors at Burger Fi without showing proof of vaccine 

‘I’m shocked. I’m really shocked right now, because I know that I’ve been asking everyone,’ the manager responded. 

But not every restaurant violated New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proof-of-vaccine mandate. 

At SoHo’s Mercer Kitchen, staff members did everything by the book.

When a hostess asked the investigative producer for proof-of-vaccine at the door, he told the hostess he was vaccinated, but didn’t have his card on him.

‘Unfortunately,’ said the hostess. ‘If we don’t have proof, we can’t seat you inside. It’s New York law.’ 

Only four of the fifteen restaurants INSIDE EDITION visited prompted to see proof of vaccination and a matching ID.   

Since August 17, New York City has required proof of vaccination for people attending indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms and shows, as the city tries to get back on its feet from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At SoHo's Mercer Kitchen, staff members did everything by the book.

At SoHo’s Mercer Kitchen, staff members did everything by the book.

When a hostess asked the investigative producer for proof-of-vaccine at the door, he told the hostess he was vaccinated, but didn't have his card on him. The hostess said she could not seat the producers without showing proof-of-vaccine

When a hostess asked the investigative producer for proof-of-vaccine at the door, he told the hostess he was vaccinated, but didn’t have his card on him. The hostess said she could not seat the producers without showing proof-of-vaccine 

However, the vaccine mandates are fraught with complications as restaurant servers, bartenders and ticket agents at already understaffed businesses now must enforce the vaccination rules.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered businesses to begin implementing vaccine checkpoints or face $1,000 fines, but many bars and restaurants are already demanding proof of vaccination to enter. 

‘If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated. It’s time,’ de Blasio said. 

As enforcement of New York City's vaccine mandate loomed Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was reluctant to fine businesses that do not follow vaccine checks for patrons

As enforcement of New York City’s vaccine mandate loomed Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was reluctant to fine businesses that do not follow vaccine checks for patrons

Enforcement of the policy comes as nearly 60 percent of city residents have been vaccinated

Enforcement of the policy comes as nearly 60 percent of city residents have been vaccinated

Businesses, unions and critics of the mandates were immediately angered, citing personal freedom arguments.    

In parts of the city where majority of people are resisting the vaccine, business owners are worried the mandates will be a fatal blow after the virus prevented them from running at full capacity for months last year.

It will fall largely on businesses to enforce the policy and de Blasio claimed it wouldn’t be too different from a host guiding someone to a table or a box office clerk selling a ticket. 

‘We do not want to go back to restrictions,’ de Blasio said at a virtual news conference in August. ‘The key to our progress is vaccination.’   

In August, President Joe Biden announced the federal government’s aggressive new approach to fight the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, which included new vaccine rules that the White House says will affect two-third of the American workforce. 

The strategy involves six steps all aimed at boosting the US vaccination rate, which fell over the summer as a new wave fueled by the Delta variant plunged health care systems in areas with largely unvaccinated populations back into disarray.

About 73.4 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have at least one vaccine dose, but less than 63 percent are fully vaccinated – far short of the threshold to reach herd immunity. 



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