Newark will require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, theaters

The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city announced Thursday that he will sign an executive order next week that will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for anyone five years and older to enter many establishments, including restaurants, bars, theaters and concerts and sports venues.

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said in a statement he would sign the decree on Monday and start by requiring anyone attending New Year’s events and public holidays to present proof of vaccination.

By January 10, anyone entering a facility or business must show proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination and be fully vaccinated three weeks later, the mayor said.

“Newark’s latest three-day test positivity rate reached 27.16%,” Baraka said. “Guided by this data, the City of Newark is taking firm and aggressive action to prevent its spread and protect our residents and workers. Newark will continue to meet the challenge of COVID-19 with determination. “

The decree applies to the following places:

  • Restaurants, bars and nightclubs, including taverns, cafes, and fast food establishments that have seating
  • Breweries, cellars and distillery tasting rooms
  • Mixed-use installations
  • Food court
  • Indoor entertainment establishments, including nightclubs, hookah bars, pool and snooker rooms, and cigar bars
  • Concerts and sports halls
  • Movie theater
  • Bowling lanes
  • Indoor exercise and leisure facilities, including exercise facilities, dance, yoga and Pilates studios
  • All facilities used for group fitness classes
  • Facilities for indoor events and meetings, including hotel common rooms, banquet halls, conference centers, meeting rooms, convention centers, auditoriums
  • Shared working spaces

These establishments must display “prominently” at their entrances a signage informing the public of the entry requirement for vaccination, said the mayor.

Prudential had already put in place a similar policy before the mayor’s announcement Thursday night.

The following places do not have to require proof of vaccination from its clients:

  • Places of worship
  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets and catering establishments offering charitable food services
  • Pharmacies, doctor’s offices, emergency care centers or hospitals
  • Hardware stores and retail establishments where people tend to be on the move and not stand or sit near others for long periods of time
  • Private meeting spaces in residences or office buildings
  • Government facilities; warming and cooling centers, day service facilities for the homeless, shelters for the homeless or victims of domestic violence
  • Election polling stations
  • Other facilities exempted by the Ministry of Health

The vaccination requirement of the decree does not apply to the following persons:

  • Individuals entering a covered establishment for a quick and limited purpose (for example, to place a take out order, pick up an order, or make a delivery)
  • A person entitled by law to reasonable accommodation because of a health problem or sincere religious belief

This is the second decree from Baraka, who himself tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, put in place this week to tackle the growing number of coronavirus cases. The previous one reinstated an indoor mask mandate at all public facilities and required patrons to sit in a bar and wear masks unless they are actually eating or drinking.

While New York City has required diners to be vaccinated before dining or attending an entertainment event, New Jersey has not adopted such statewide requirements, and few or no municipalities in the state have announced such measures.

New Jersey has already instituted some vaccination mandates. All government officials and teachers and education personnel are required to show proof of vaccination or undergo regular testing. In addition, all students and staff are required to wear masks inside school buildings.

The state also requires all day care workers and workers in New Jersey hospitals, long-term care homes, prisons and a number of other public and private health care facilities and assembly places to high risk are fully vaccinated or undergo repeated testing. .

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Chris Sheldon can be reached at [email protected].

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