Chicago now requires COVID-19 vaccination, ID for public venues

Chicago now requires COVID-19 vaccination, ID for public venues

Planning an evening out in Chicago? You now need proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a photo ID to get in most places.

Anyone wanting to go into a Chicago restaurant, bar, gym, concert, sports venue or movie now must prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and show a photo ID.

Jan. 3 marked the first day of the new rules previously announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The ID requirement is for anyone 16 and older and the name must match the vaccine card.

Employees of affected businesses are required to wear masks while working and take weekly COVID tests if they don’t have proof they have been vaccinated.

Buildings such as schools, offices, airports and churches are exempt as well as children under the age of five.

Acceptable forms of proof include a COVID vaccination card, a photo of one, a digital vaccine record, or a printed record of vaccination.

Proof of vaccination isn’t required if you’re in a venue for less than 10 minutes, such as getting carry-out at a restaurant.

Lightfoot’s requirement to prove vaccination and show an ID applies to:

  • Restaurants, bars, fast food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias, food courts, dining areas of grocery stores, breweries, wineries, distilleries, banquet halls and hotel ballrooms
  • Gyms, yoga, pilates, cycling, barre and dance studios, hotel gyms, fitness boot camps and other facilities
  • Movie theaters, music and concert venues, live performance venues, adult entertainment venues, commercial event and party venues, sports arenas, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades and card rooms

Lightfoot said the new requirements are to protect hospital systems from going beyond full capacity. She said her mandate’s timeline depends on actions of the unvaccinated, who make up the vast majority of hospitalizations.

“Our future is gonna depend upon whether or not they stop being hesitant and get the vaccine,” she said in a December news conference.

As of Jan. 3, 72% of Chicago residents had had at least one dose of the vaccine.

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