We’ve spent a year and a half dealing with the ongoing COVID pandemic, and most us would like nothing more than for things to go back to normal. But as the Delta variant and other iterations of the virus continue to spread, we might have to settle for a new normal for the time being. For vaccinated individuals, the current situation doesn’t feel all that different from how things were before the pandemic. Now that many spaces are requiring proof of vaccination, however, unvaccinated people may find themselves less able to live their lives the way they did before. Read on to find out five places you can no longer go if you haven’t gotten the COVID vaccine.
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As the weather turns colder, you may be looking forward to dining in at your favorite establishments, but you’ll need to show proof of vaccination in order to eat at some restaurants. Last month, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that vaccination will be a requirement at all New York City restaurants, effective as of Aug. 13. Other dining destinations in major cities such as New Orleans, San Francisco, and Philadelphia have instituted mandatory proof of vaccination policies as well.
But experts are also cautioning unvaccinated individuals to stay away from dine-in restaurants, even if no such requirement exists. “What I would say bluntly is: If you are not vaccinated right now in the United States, you should not go into a bar, you should probably not eat at a restaurant. You are at great risk of becoming infected,” Jonathan Reiner, MD, a medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, told CNN.
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Vaccine requirements for certain concert venues have been popping up more and more lately, prompting unvaccinated individuals to miss out on upcoming events. Two of the largest music concert promoters, AEG and Live Nation, have each announced vaccine requirements for guests starting next month, but some venues are already enforcing these measures. As of Oct. 4, Live Nation-owned venues will have to require concertgoers to show vaccination proof or a recent negative COVID test, but AEG will only allow proof of vaccination by Oct. 1.
Other musical artists have announced their own requirements for upcoming shows and tours, like the Eagles, who will only admit fully vaccinated attendees to their concert on Nov. 5 in Seattle. Sean Agnew, co-owner of Union Transfer, a concert venue in Pennsylvania, told Philadelphia Magazine that other artists have said they won’t accept anything but proof of vaccination, with no testing alternatives. “They only want to play to an entirely vaccinated crowd,” he said.
If you’re planning any upcoming travel, you may need to be vaccinated, as some hotels across the U.S. have started requiring guests to get the shot before checking in. According to The New York Times, hotels currently enforcing this include The PUBLIC Hotel in New York City; the Urban Cowboy Lodge in Big Indian, New York; and Pilgrim House in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Both the Equinox Hotel and the Wythe Hotel in New York City will also be enforcing vaccine requirements as of Sept. 13.
These requirements are happening outside of the contiguous U.S. Puerto Rico issued an island-wide mandate in August requiring that all guests and staff at all hotels, guesthouses, and short-term rentals like Airbnb provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR or rapid test taken 72 hours before arrival. And Elite Island Resorts, which has several hotel locations in the Caribbean, started mandating guests be vaccinated on Sept. 1.
“After weighing all the choices, issues and concerns, mandating vaccines was the wisest option in protecting the critical tourism industry of these beloved destinations that are so crucial to the survival of so many employees, and the only way we will be able to keep travel and tourism going strong throughout the fall and winter,” Elite Island Resorts founder and CEO Robert A. Barrett wrote in a statement.
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With anywhere from hundreds to thousands of students in one space, many higher education institutions are only admitting vaccinated students on campus for the fall semester. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, more than 1,000 colleges and universities are requiring vaccines for at least some students or employees, as of Sept. 2. This includes Harvard University, the University of Southern California, and Northwestern.
Some institutions have even gone as far as to disenroll unvaccinated individuals. The University of Virginia (UVA) recently disenrolled about 240 students for not being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, spokesperson Brian Coy told The Virginian-Pilot. Both Virginia Tech and Xavier also disenrolled unvaccinated students, while other institutions say that this is a possibility for students as part of their vaccine requirements. Chi-Chung Keung, a campus spokesperson for Cal State Fullerton, told CalMatters that failure to comply in the school’s vaccination requirement “could result in disenrollment from class,” while Humboldt State said that unvaccinated students will be blocked from school access and their missed labs and classes “will not be forgiven.”
Various kinds of theaters across the U.S. are also requiring proof of vaccination now. Some movie theaters in major cities such as New York City, Portland, New Orleans, and San Francisco have already announced vaccine requirements, some in compliance with city-wide mandates. And in New York, Broadway theaters are also requiring proof of vaccination.
After more than a year of being shutdown, the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in the city agreed to mandate vaccinations for audience members, performers, backstage crew, and theater staff for all performances through Oct. 2021. For shows in November and on, the association says they will be reviewing policies in September in order to decide whether or not they will be extending this order.
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