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City Announces Vaccine Mandate for Restaurants, Bars, and Gyms

The City of Chicago today announced vaccine requirements for restaurants, bars, gyms, and other indoor public areas. Below is information about the new requirements relevant to offices.

  • The requirement goes into effect January 3, 2022.
  • It is focused on dining, fitness, and entertainment venues where food or beverage is being served. It is not a requirement that applies to office buildings and tenant spaces that are limited to owner or tenant use. HOWEVER, as in previous COVID regulations, it will apply to those portions of an office building that have restaurants, fitness centers, or entertainment venues where food or beverage is being served and that the public has access to. The Proof of Vaccination in Public Places Health Order does not apply to fitness centers/cafeterias in an office building which are limited in use to tenants of the building. HOWEVER, if the fitness center/food court in question has a public component where non-tenants would become patrons, then the Vaccination Order would apply (remember that the Mask Mandate Health Order continues to apply to these locations either way).
  • The requirement is that patrons must show a vaccination card, official immunization record, or a digital photo of either.
  • Everyone age 5 and over needs to show proof of full vaccination; everyone age 16 and over needs to also have an ID that matches the vaccination record they provide.
  • The employees of the covered locations need to either be fully vaccinated OR the employer has to make sure the employees provide proof of a weekly negative COVID-19 test AND that the unvaccinated employees continue to mask when interacting with patrons.
  • The establishment has to keep a written record of the protocol for implementing and enforcing the vaccine requirement (not the vaccination records themselves).
  • The establishment also has to prominently post signage at each publicly accessible entrance to the covered location and at least one sign inside the covered location informing patrons of the vaccination requirement.
  • Patrons are exempt if they are in the covered location less than 10 minutes for ordering/carrying out food, delivering goods, or using the bathroom.
  • Patrons are also exempt if they have proof of a medical or religious exemption, but they still need a COVID-19 test within 72 hours to enter the covered location.
  • This new order does not change the existing indoor mask mandate for all public indoor settings, which includes office spaces.
The City will also host three information sessions for employers, on December 22 at 11 a.m., December 29 and 11 a.m., and January 4 and 2 p.m. Anyone interested can register for those webinars.