Chicago to Require Proof of Vaccination at Restaurants, Bars, Gyms

Chicago to Require Proof of Vaccination at Restaurants, Bars, Gyms lori lightfoot delivers remarks at a news conference Chicago Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Luca Cacciatore | Tuesday, 21 December 2021 05:02 PM

A new law in Chicago will require patrons at restaurants, bars, and gyms to show proof of vaccination and photo ID before using services, the city's Sun-Times reported.

The city will require proof of vaccination for anyone over the age of 5, and patrons older than 16 will be required to provide a form of identification that matches their vaccination records.

According to the rule announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday, the option of weekly testing will be available for employees at the covered establishments but not patrons.

"We will leave no options off the table when it comes to protecting the safety of our residents," Lightfoot said during a news conference at city hall. "We didn't want to get to this point, but we simply have no choice … This is what we have to do to keep our health system from being overwhelmed by this new wave."

Lightfoot added the question of whether the city will impose more restrictions in the future "lies with the unvaccinated."

"It really depends on the unvaccinated," she said. "The unvaccinated are affecting the health and well-being and livelihoods of all of us."

Houses of worship, grocery stores, airports, charitable food services, schools, and daycare centers are exempt from the new rule, according to the Sun-Times.

The new law will take effect after the holiday season Jan. 3, 2022.

Chicago had 2,800 cases diagnosed in a single day Dec. 15 — close to the highest since the pandemic began, the city's COVID Dashboard showed. The rate of new COVID-19 cases a day is up nearly 80% from a week ago.

The city's COVID-19 test positivity rate is 7.3%, almost double last week's 4.1% daily average. Hospitalizations are up 12% in the last week as well.