LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Vaccine mandates went into effect Monday in several major cities across the country. Now, businesses are bracing for the impact on their clientele and staffing.
Los Angeles County has had a proof-of-vaccination mandate at many places of business, such as restaurants and theaters, for several months. While a lot are forging on, many owners say it has made it even harder to make a buck.
“I’ve been checked about 50% of the time,” said Dov Rudnick, a Los Angeles resident. “And places, sometimes I’ll ask, ‘Don’t you have to check?’ And some people will just say, ‘Don’t worry about it’.”
Some business owners are complying with little complaint.
“We just have to play by the rules if we want to play in the game,” said Claire Risoli, the owner of Pocha LA. “I don’t want to be in the position to have to turn anyone away and I definitely don’t like to be in the position of having to police.”
Similar mandates debuted in other major cities, including New Orleans and Chicago.
Chicago, like Los Angeles, New York and other cities, now has a vaccine requirement for restaurants, bars, gyms and other indoor public places.
“I believe this is a new way of life,” Joe Murdoch said while at Chicago Diner. “What we’re going through is not going to change.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stopped at a few businesses to thank them for compliance. Not on her tour: The Irish Nobleman Pub. The new mandate has the owners shutting down for the month, saying it’s just not worth it.
“We can’t afford to put a doorman on, 10 hours a day, $20 an hour,” said Declan Morgan, the owner of Irish Nobleman Pub. “January is normally the slowest month of the year for us.”
In upstate New York, proof of vaccination has been a welcome change at ABC Fitness in Latham.
“Masks suck,” said Matt Doheny, the owner of ABC Fitness. “It’s just not a fun thing to police them. It’s also a slightly danger to the staff because people aren’t always very nice when you have to go up and tell them to put up their masks or wear them correctly.”
In much of the nation’s population centers, the vaccine mandate in addition to a mask mandate is appreciated.
“I guess it’s better than not having that extra layer of safety, in my opinion,” said Eustacio Cruz, a Los Angeles resident.
But more than two months into the new mandate, the COVID transmission rate in Los Angeles County is at its highest point since the start of the pandemic.
Another big concern among many is the ease in getting fake vaccine cards or just sharing screenshots from others.