Philly’s New Vaccination Rules for Restaurants Start Today

You do remember where you put your vaccine card, right?

new vaccination rules for restaurants

Philly’s new vaccination rules for restaurants go into effect today. | SanyaSM via GettyImages

In my last Monday News Round-Up of 2021, I told you all about the new vaccine rules for restaurants being put in place by the city. Seeing as today is the first day that these new rules are in effect, I figured it might be worth taking a look at some of the specifics. Here’s how it works:

  • You want to eat in a bar or restaurant in Philly starting today? Be vaccinated and show your card.
  • There is no number two. That’s pretty much it.

No, really. It’s that simple. You gotta be vaxxed to get through the door. This applies to customers AND staff —essentially everyone over the age of 5 years, 3 months without a valid medical or religious exemption.

Look at it like being carded at the bar. If you’re going out, bring your ID and bring your vax card. Be ready to show both. If you don’t have one or the other? Stay home. Don’t try to bluff your way past whoever’s working the door. Don’t think that throwing a tantrum is going to get you anywhere. Be a grown-up and don’t take your bullshit out on the food-service employees who are just trying to do their jobs. You got a problem with the new rules? Take it up with the city. They’ve got people who are paid to argue with you. Leave the servers, hosts and bartenders out of it. They’re tired of your complaining.

Yes, for the first two weeks of this new mandate, you can get by with proof of a negative COVID test taken within the last 24 hours. But with the way testing is going right now? That’s probably not going to happen. And by January 17th, this exception will end — meaning it’s vaxxed or stay outside in the snow.

The new rules apply to any place that serves food or drinks meant to be consumed on-site: bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters, casinos, stadiums. Grocery and convenience stores are not covered. Pretty much everywhere else is.

Even without the complications that will inevitably come of putting this new mandate into effect, it’s going to be a rough few weeks for the restaurant community. And it’s coming on top of what’s already been a pretty terrible couple of years. So seriously? Let’s all try our best to be a little cool and a little understanding. Be patient, smile once in a while, tip well, look out for each other, don’t be a dick.

Really, those are pretty good rules to live by every day. But right now, they matter more than ever.