Even though the country seems to be broadly getting back to normal, it's safe to say that the pandemic is far from over. The new delta variant is a huge cause for concern as it seems to be more contagious than previous strains of COVID-19. And one way to help slow down the spread of the virus? By getting vaccinated, of course!
But for some reason, there are still those out there who are refusing to do their bit for both themselves and the community at large.
Well, one restaurant in New York City has decided to take a stance against those who are refusing to get vaccinated. Amid concerns about rising case numbers, Dame, a restaurant in the West Village, has made a big decision. The owners have decided that they will require all customers to provide proof of vaccination before they're allowed into the premises.
"We've been anxiously watching the NYC infection rate creep back up," owner Patricia Howard told Insider. "We can't control whether the person next to us on the subway is wearing a mask, but we can control who gets to come through our doors at Dame." They've undertaken this decision thanks both to the small space of their premises, plus the fact two staff members are immunocompromised.
So far, the restaurant claims their new rule has not had an adverse impact on their bookings. In fact, they say places are being booked up within minutes of their noon release time every day. They also claim they've only had to cancel 2 of over 500 reservations thanks to potential customers being unvaccinated.
"Thankfully, nearly everyone has been so appreciative and supportive," Howard went on. "We've received hundreds of emails back (which we were not expecting), thanking us for the initiative, thanking us for keeping our community safe, saying it makes them even more excited to dine at Dame, and hoping other restaurants follow suit."
It also seems Dame may be a trailblazer for other businesses in a post-COVID world. "In the pasttwenty-four hours, we've had multiple other restaurants reach out about wanting to do the same but unsure how to enforce, nervous, etc.," Howard said. "With the CDC's updated mask guidelines and the growing public unease, I predict (and hope) other restaurants will follow suit."
And it seems members of the public are also supportive of the decision. Yes, everyone should have the freedom to choose if they want to get vaccinated, at the same time businesses also have the freedom to choose if they wish to serve non-vaccinated individuals...so if you advocate freedom of choice and you wish the worst for such businesses, aren't you contradicting yourself?" wrote one Facebook user.
Around forty-one percent of NYC residents are yet to receive their COVID vaccination, and amid concerns about rising case numbers, the city has begun to incentivize vaccine uptake by offering $100.Do you think Dame is correct in its new ruling? Or do you think this takes personal choice a step too far?