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Skyline in autumn behind the Schuylkill River Boardwalk at Sunset, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Starting January 3rd, Philadelphia will require proof of vaccination to eat indoors in restaurants or drink inside bars — or to enter any indoor space that sells food and drinks.

At one point, a recent negative COVID-19 test will also be accepted as a means of acceptance into these facilities, however, after Jan. 17, negative COVID-19 tests will no longer be accepted for most patrons and vaccines will be required. Restaurant workers also must be vaccinated.

Children younger than 5 or those with valid medical or religious exemptions will be able to show a recent COVID-19 test to go inside.

The mandate applies to any establishment that sells food or drinks to consume on-site. Food and drink locations that do take out only are not included, but the mandate does apply to movie theaters, restaurants inside hotels and catering halls.

Here are more details about the plan:

  • Under the city’s new rules, full vaccination means that a person has received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • Staff that works inside restaurants also must be vaccinated, though they have a little more time. Staff members must have their first vaccine dose by January 3 and the second by February 3, Bettigole said.
  • The same goes for children aged 5 years and 3 months through 11 years. They must have their first vaccine dose by January 3 and the second by February 3.
  • A recent COVID-19 test is considered to be within 24 hours.
  • The rule also applies to bowling alleys, conventions (if food is being served), catering halls, and casinos where food and drink is allowed on the floor. Food courts should be cordoned off to check vaccine status as people enter.
  • Grocery stores and convenience stores are not included. Neither is Philadelphia International Airport, except in the airport’s seated restaurants or bars.

Philadelphia to Require Vaccine to Eat or Drink Inside Restaurants, Bars  was originally published on