Cook County mandating vaccination proof at restaurants, bars

Health authorities have been urging Americans to get a booster shot six months after their second dose of the vaccine, especially now that the omicron variant is dominant in the U.S.
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images
Health authorities have been urging Americans to get a booster shot six months after their second dose of the vaccine, especially now that the omicron variant is dominant in the U.S.
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Cook County mandating vaccination proof at restaurants, bars

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Cook County is following Chicago in implementing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for customers of restaurants, bars, gyms and various other indoor establishments.

Under the order issued Thursday by the county’s health department, businesses must require any individual age 5 and older to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an approved vaccine before they can enter the business.

The mandate also includes movie theaters, concert venues, arcades, sports arenas and anywhere else where food and drink are served.

Those who are 16 and older also must show an ID, such as a driver’s license, that matches the vaccination card.

Cook County’s vaccine mandate will begin Jan. 3, the same day a similar requirement for Chicago that was announced Tuesday is set to begin.

Under the county’s order, proof of vaccination documents include official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cards, an official immunization record, a digital app that records vaccinations or a digital or physical photo of the card.

The order does not apply to those ordering carryout at restaurants and bars, performing artists or professional athletes. It also does not cover churches, schools, office buildings or soup kitchens.

Under the county order, employees of the affected businesses are exempt from the vaccination mandate if they test negative for COVID-19 weekly.