An investigation found that most restaurants in Manhattan, New York City, are not enforcing the city’s new rule that requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to eat indoors.
The investigation was conducted by Inside Edition after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for people dining inside went into effect this week.
Inside Edition reporters visited 15 restaurants in Manhattan to find out. The final results showed that only four restaurants asked the undercover reporters for ID and proof of vaccination before seating them inside, while the 11 others did not obey the city mayor’s requirement.
Mercer Kitchen in the SoHo neighborhood is one of the four restaurants that cooperated with the city order. Its staff did everything by the book, asking for ID along with proof of vaccination. One reporter told the hostess he did not have his vaccine card with him; she said she could not seat him inside.
“Unfortunately, if we don’t have proof, we can’t seat you inside. It’s New York law,” the hostess said.
But at BurgerFi, a popular burger joint, nobody at the restaurant asked the undercover investigator to show them anything. However, there are signs on most of their tables saying, “Show us your vax.”
In his COVID-19 vaccine mandate, De Blasio said that the city could issue $1,000 for a first offense and $2,000 for a second to indoor businesses that fail to ensure their venues are off-limits to those who remain unvaccinated, according to New York Post.
“If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated. It’s time,” de Blasio has said of the mandate.
So far, New York City has conducted about 5,500 total inspections and issued about 2,200 warnings, according to data from City Hall.