Chicago Citing Businesses for Failing to Check Vaccination Status of Patrons

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 26: A worker at a Chipotle restaurant waits on customers through a window on March 26, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered all restaurants and bars in the state closed to all but carry-out and delivery orders.
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The city of Chicago is citing businesses for failing to check the vaccination status of patrons and has issued over two dozen citations in the last three weeks.

Chicago vaccine rules went into effect January 3, requiring indoor dining establishments, fitness centers, and entertainment and recreation venues to demand proof of vaccination for everyone ages five and older. 

“You must not permit entry to anyone 5 and older who has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless an exception applies. Businesses that do not comply with this policy will be subject to fines,” the city’s website warns. The fines vary but can be as much as $10,000.

According to the AP, Chicago officials have handed out 32 citations to 16 businesses thus far.  Cited businesses include several restaurants, a child’s play place, and a handful of fitness centers, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

Other blue areas across the country are also requiring businesses to discriminate against unvaccinated individuals. New York City was one of the first places in the nation to do so, implementing the Key to NYC Pass under former Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). 

“And if you’re vaccinated, all of that’s going to open up to you. You’ll have the key, you can open the door. If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things,” de Blasio said at the time, expressing his sincere belief that it is time for people to “see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life.”

The Supreme Court took action against one of President Biden’s vaccine mandates last week, rejecting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule, which would have affected roughly 84 million workers. The Court did, however, uphold the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate on healthcare workers, although it made clear that there are exceptions for religious or medical reasons. 

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