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

Published: Dec. 23, 2021

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

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said in a statement that he will sign the executive order on Monday and that it will start by requiring anyone attending public New Year’s Eve events and parties to show proof of vaccination.

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

“Newark’s latest three-day test positivity rate has spiked to 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 executive order applies to the following places:

  • Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, including taverns, coffee shops and fast-food establishments that have seating
  • Breweries, wineries, and distillery tasting rooms
  • Mixed-use facilities
  • Food courts
  • Indoor entertainment establishments, including nightclubs, hookah bars, pool and billiard halls, and cigar bars
  • Concert, and sporting venues
  • Movie theaters
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor exercise and recreational establishments, including exercise facilities, dance, yoga, and Pilates studios
  • Any facilities used for group fitness classes
  • Indoor event and meeting establishments, including hotel common rooms, banquet halls, conference centers meeting facilities, convention centers, auditoriums
  • Shared work facilities

These establishments must “prominently” post signage at their entrances notifying the public of the vaccination entry requirement, the mayor said.

The Prudential had already instituted a similar policy prior the mayor’s announcement Thursday night.

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

  • Houses of worship
  • Grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and food service establishments providing charitable food services
  • Pharmacies, medical offices, urgent care centers, or hospitals
  • Hardware stores, and retail establishments where people tend to be in motion and not standing or seated in close proximity to others for long periods of time
  • Private meeting spaces in residences or office buildings
  • Governmental facilities; warming and cooling centers, day service facilities for homeless persons, shelters serving homeless persons or victims of domestic violence
  • Election polling places
  • Other facilities as exempted by the Department of Health

The vaccination requirement of the order does not apply to the following individuals:

  • Individuals entering a covered establishment for a quick and limited purpose (for example, placing an order for takeout, picking up an order, or making a delivery)
  • A person entitled by law to a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief

This is the second executive order Baraka, who himself tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, instated this week to fight rising numbers of coronavirus cases. The previous one reinstated an indoor mask mandate in all public facilities and required that patrons be seated at a bar and wear masks unless they are actually eating or drinking.

While New York City has required diners to be vaccinated before going to restaurants or attending an entertainment event, New Jersey has not enacted such requirements on a statewide basis, and few if any municipalities in the state have announced such measures.

New Jersey has already instituted some vaccine mandates. All state workers and all teachers and education staff are required to either show proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing. Plus, all students and staff members are required to wear masks inside school buildings.

The state also requires all child care employees and all workers in New Jersey hospitals, long-term care centers, prisons, and a number of other state and private health-care facilities and high-risk congregate settings to be fully vaccinated or face repeated testing.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-12-24 03:24:48 -0800