Yelp letting customers filter for restaurants requiring proof of COVID vaccination

Nation/world

Yelp introduced a new feature that lets customers filter for businesses that require proof of COVID-19 vaccination, the company announced Thursday.

Yelp released this image of its “Proof of vaccination required” and “All staff fully vaccinated" app filter options on Aug. 5, 2021.
Yelp released this image of its “Proof of vaccination required” and “All staff fully vaccinated” app filter options on Aug. 5, 2021.

The app is now also letting businesses indicate whether all staff are fully vaccinated, an attribute that customers can also filter for when looking for restaurants, bars and clubs to visit.

Business owners wishing to let customers know about their vaccine requirements on Yelp will need to activate the attributes on their pages. So far, not many businesses in the Los Angeles area have activated the feature.

Customers can find the new COVID-19 filters options under the “amenities and ambiance” section of the filter menu.

Yelp said it noted an increase in the number of businesses implementing new COVID-19 safety measures amid the new spike in coronavirus case numbers.

In L.A. County, more restaurants and bars have recently been announcing that they require customers to show proof that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or show a negative coronavirus test.

That includes several bars and eateries in West Hollywood, including The Abbey Food & Bar, Beaches WeHo, Trunks, The Formosa Cafe and Conservatory, according to the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. L.A. Taco also has a running list of bars requiring vaccine proof, which included 43 businesses as of Friday.

The added safeguards are not coming from the health officer order, but from business owners who have had to grapple with the ever-changing restrictions imposed over the last year as the coronavirus continued its relentless spread.

There is a push, however, to make showing proof of vaccination a requirement throughout Los Angeles.

The L.A. City Council is set to consider whether the city should start requiring residents to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor settings.

Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell on Wednesday introduced a motion that would require vaccine proof indoors at restaurants, bars, gyms, stores, spas, movie theaters, concert venues and sporting events.

Yelp noted that in recent weeks, there has been a “a rise in reviews focused on people’s stance on COVID vaccinations rather than their actual experience with the business.”

To protect businesses, the app will monitor bars and eateries that activate the new COVID-19 filters and mitigate “review bombing.” The app also places “unusual activity” alerts on Yelp pages that get an influx of activity over the business’ stance on COVID-19 practices.

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