Proof of COVID vaccination or negative test result now required at indoor Palm Springs restaurants, bars

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The city of Palm Springs is requiring patrons to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination status or a recent negative coronavirus test result to enter indoor bars and restaurants in the city.

The new citywide order went into effect Thursday.

Unvaccinated patrons will have to provide bar and restaurants staff documentation of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours before each visit. Both PCR and Antigen tests are accepted.

Visitors who feel they can’t get vaccinated due to religious or medical reasons can let the bar or restaurant proprietors know about that, but they’ll still have to show proof of a negative test result, according to the new order.

The order doesn’t apply to children under the age of 12, who aren’t yet eligible to get vaccinated.

Proof of vaccination status or a negative coronavirus test is also required for all ticketed, city-permitted large events in Palm Springs, according to city officials.

Local eatery Manhattan in the Desert had to turn away patrons who either didn’t know about the new rule, didn’t have the documentation or just didn’t agree with the requirement, according to manager Kimberly Guzman.

“Me and my staff, we try not to take it personal, but sometimes they’re downright nasty,” Guzman told KTLA.

She recounted having to ask a man to leave after he used profanity when she asked him for his proof of vaccination.

“About four different employees were cursed at yesterday,” she said.

Staff at the restaurant saw the deadly effects of the pandemic up close.

A man who’d worked at Manhattan in the Desert for more than 17 years, 41-year-old Felipe Cuahuizo, died of COVID-19 on Aug. 2, leaving behind a wife and four children. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for his family.

One restaurant patron told KTLA they’re happy the new order is in effect.

“I think it’s a great, great idea and I think it’s going to help us recover from this pandemic,” Palm Springs resident George Kouri said.

Others didn’t think the mandate was a good idea.

“I fully support people who want to get vaccinated. It’s just not something that I necessarily plan on doing right now at this point, and it’s just really disappointing to see that they’re limiting people,” said Ann Martin, who was in Palm Springs visiting her father.

Palm Desert resident Mark Wasserkrug compared being asked for proof of vaccination to being asked who he voted for in an election, saying “It’s a personal choice.”

Palm Springs City Hall officials said a survey of local business owners found that around 70% were favor of the restrictions, and Mayor Christy Holstege said the new order came at the request of many restaurant owners in Palm Springs, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In Los Angeles, officials have also been moving toward requiring residents to show proof of at least one dose of the vaccine to enter the indoor public spaces like restaurants, gyms and stores. The L.A. City Council voted to direct the city attorney to draft an ordinance requiring patrons to have at least one dose of the vaccine to be able to enter the indoor public spaces.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors also voted this month to look into options for requiring residents to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor spaces in unincorporated county areas.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination includes any of the following:

  • The white CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card
  • The WHO yellow card
  • A photocopy of a vaccination record card
  • A photo of the person’s vaccine card stored on a phone or any other electronic device
  • Documentation of a COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider
  • A digital record that includes a QR code that, when scanned, displays the person’s name, birthday, vaccine dates and vaccine type.

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