Mayor Lightfoot Announces Chicago will Require Proof of Vaccination to Enter Bars, Restaurants, Gyms, Theaters and More


Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday announced Chicago will require proof of vaccination in order to enter bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters and more.

Beginning January 3, people over the age of 5 will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, and other entertainment venues.

Here’s the kicker: Anyone 16 and older MUST SHOW ID that matches their vaccine records.

Isn’t requiring people to provide ID racist and oppressive?

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“Despite our diligent and equitable vaccine distribution efforts throughout this year, unfortunately, our city continues to see a surge of COVID-19 Delta and now Omicron cases,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “New steps must be taken to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents. This public health order requiring proof of vaccination to visit certain indoor public places is a necessary measure to ensure we can continue to enjoy our city’s many amenities as we enter the new year.”

Places requiring vaccine passports (via NBC Chicago):

Indoor dining: Including restaurants, bars, fast food spots, coffee shops, wineries, cafeterias, dining areas of grocery store, banquet halls

Fitness: Gyms, yoga, Pilates, dance studios, hotel gyms, boxing/kickboxing gyms

Indoor entertainment/recreation: Movie theaters, concerts, sports arenas, bowling alleys, arcades, billiard halls and more

Covid actually stops spreading in certain circumstances so Lightfoot outlined exceptions to her vaccine passport system:

Places Not Included in the Requirement (via NBC Chicago):

The vaccine requirement does not include houses of worship; grocery stores (though indoor dining sections within grocery stores would be included); locations in O’Hare International Airport or Midway International Airport; locations in a residential or office building the use of which is limited to residents, owners, or tenants of that building; or food service establishments providing only charitable food services, such as soup kitchens. Schools and day cares also are not included in the order.

Businesses will be required to develop and keep a written record of their plans for implementing and enforcing the vaccine requirement while also posting signage at entrances.

There are some exemptions to the requirement, however, city officials noted. Those include:

• Individuals entering an establishment for less than 10 minutes for ordering and

carrying out food; delivering goods; or using the bathroom;

• A nonresident performing artist who does not regularly perform or render services

in a covered location, or a nonresident individual accompanying such a performing

artist, while the performing artist or individual is in a covered location for the

purposes of such artist’s performance;

• A nonresident professional athlete or a nonresident individual accompanying such

professional athlete, who enters a covered location as part of their regular

employment for purposes of the professional athlete/sports team competition;

• Individuals who have previously received a medical or religious exemption (e.g.

from an employer), provided such patrons show the establishment proof of the

medical or religious exemption and a COVID-19 test administered by a medical

professional within the last 72 hours prior to entering.

• An individual 18 years of age or younger who enters a covered location to

participate in an activity organized by a school or after-school program offered by

any pre-kindergarten through grade twelve public or non-public school; and

• An individual who enters for the purposes of voting in a municipal, state, or federal

election; or, pursuant to law, assisting or accompanying a voter or observing such


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