Most of the 15 Manhattan restaurants visited by undercover sleuths this week were not enforcing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s city-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for people dining inside, according to a new investigation.
Only four of the 15 restaurants asked reporters for ID along with proof of vaccination before seating them inside, according to a segment from Inside Edition.
At an Upper East Side location of the BurgerFi chain, the restaurant let a producer for the show order and eat inside without showing proof of vaccination — even though the eatery had small signs at each table that read “show me your vax.”
When confronted the following day about the lax enforcement, a manager of the store said, “I’m shocked right now, not gonna lie. I’m shocked because I know that I’ve definitely been asking everyone.”
Among the four restaurants that did cooperate with the order was SoHo’s Mercer Kitchen, where a hostess asked to see a vaccine card at the door.
“Unfortunately, if we don’t have proof, we can’t seat you inside. It’s New York law,” the hostess said.
The city’s vaccine mandate, dubbed the “Key to NYC,” went into effect last month, requiring New Yorkers who want to dine inside restaurants, work out at a gym or attend an indoor concert to show proof they’ve gotten at least one of their shots.
After a roughly one-month grace period, enforcement of the order on businesses went into effect on Sept. 13.
But the order’s been met with backlash, including a lawsuit from the Big Apple’s major municipal unions.
“If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated. It’s time,” de Blasio has said of the mandate.
De Blasio has said the city could issue $1,000 for a first offense and $2,000 for a second to indoor businesses that fail to ensure their venues are off-limits to those who remain unvaccinated.