(NewsNation Now) — As the COVID-19 omicron variant continues to spread, some government agencies are updating their safety measures to stave off widespread infection. Here’s where some of the nation’s major cities and states stand on vaccination and booster dose requirements.
Washington, D.C., has launched a citywide requirement calling on businesses to verify that patrons are vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering certain establishments.
That measure will take effect Jan. 15, when anyone 12 years and older must show proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. By Feb. 15, they must be fully vaccinated, according to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office. The vaccination requirement applies to businesses including restaurants, nightclubs, taverns, coffee shops, movie theaters, live entertainment and sporting venues, gyms and conference centers.
In an additional effort to swiftly vaccinate the senior population, people 65 and older can move to the front of the line at district-operated walk-up vaccination sites, according to the mayor’s office.
Effective Monday, anyone 5 years and older will be required to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors, visit gyms, or enter entertainment venues where food or drinks are being served, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office.
Under Phase 5 of the state’s the Restore Illinois plan, large-scale events are allowed to operate at full capacity. An indoor mask mandate for public settings remains in effect for Chicago and Illinois.
Starting Jan. 15, 2022, entry to certain indoor spaces will be contingent upon proof of vaccination against COVID-19, according to Mayor Michelle Wu’s office. People working in those locations also must be vaccinated.
By the Jan. 15 deadline, patrons 12 years and older must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and by Feb. 15, they must be fully vaccinated. The mandate will expand to include people 5 years and older March 1, requiring full vaccination by May 1.
The vaccine requirement applies to spaces including indoor dining, bars, nightclubs, fitness centers and entertainment venues.
Beginning Monday, anyone entering a Philadelphia business that sells food or drink for consumption onsite must be fully vaccinated, according to the city’s website.
Employees and children 5 years and 3 months through 11 years will be required to have one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Monday and must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 3.
During the first two weeks of the city’s vaccine mandate, businesses can choose to accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entry for people who are not fully vaccinated. That exception will end, however, Jan. 17.
The mandate does not apply in K-12 and early child care settings, hospitals, congregate care facilities, special population providers that serve food, residential or health care facilities, grocery stores, convenience stores or other establishments that primarily sell food and drink for offsite use.
In November, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law bills passed during a special legislative session that addressed concerns about employee vaccine mandates. Under the new law, effective Nov. 18, government entities may not require COVID-19 vaccinations of anyone, including employees. Educational institutions also may not require students to be COVID-19 vaccinated and school districts may not have school face mask policies.
Private employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates are prohibited unless employees are provided certain individual exemptions. Those include but aren’t limited to health or religious concerns; pregnancy or anticipated future pregnancy; and past recovery from COVID-19. Employees also can choose to opt for periodic testing or wearing PPE as an exemption. Employers must cover the costs of testing and PPE exemptions for employees.
California is requiring full vaccination and booster doses for eligible health care workers. The measure took effect Dec. 22, and facilities must be in full compliance by Feb. 1, according to the California Department of Public Health order.
In October, the the City of Los Angeles announced it would require proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination to enter the indoor facilities of food establishments, gyms, entertainment and recreational locations, personal care establishments and outdoor events. The mandate, dubbed SafePassLA, launched Nov. 8 and enforcement began Nov. 29.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in October issued an executive order stopping any entity in the state, including private business, from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations of their employees or consumers.
A Louisiana federal judge also ruled Saturday that President Joe Biden can’t require teachers in the Head Start early education program to receive the vaccine.