(ETH) – As COVID-19 cases surge throughout the U.S., a growing number of dining and drinking establishments are turning unvaccinated customers away, saying their businesses can’t risk possibly exposing patrons and staff to the virus according to a new report from Market Watch.
But these “No Vax, No Service” decisions have sparked controversy, with anti-vaccination groups and individuals saying they constitute a violation of civil rights. Some states, such as Florida and Texas, have also enacted laws that essentially prevent private businesses from imposing these bans on the unvaccinated.
The bars and restaurants putting the vaccine requirements in place range from individually owned ones to small chains. In San Francisco, a local bar-owner organization representing more than 300 establishments, announced Monday that it’s calling for bar customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to enter bars. Patrons who don’t meet the requirement will be allowed to sit outside at local drinking spots.
Is this legal? According to a report from Healthline, “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.
That doesn’t mean your local privately-owned business can’t ask for proof that you’ve had the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, despite what some people may interpret the law to mean.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has dedicated part of its website to HIPAA and COVID-19, taking an authoritative stance on the law often cited inaccurately by many people.
From face masks to vaccines, private businesses continue to seek guidance from federal, state, and local governments about what to tell people they need to do to keep their employees and customers safe as a very real virus continues to spread around the globe.
This type of system, requiring vaccines to enter public facilities, restaurants, events and etc is already taking off in Europe and looks to be coming to America really soon. According to a report from Forbes, travelers to Europe are quickly discovering that being vaccinated against Covid-19 is a golden key that unlocks access not only to being able to enter a country but also to enjoy its daily pleasures.
As the delta variant pushes Covid-19 infections higher across the continent, a growing number of European countries have very recently decided that it’s time to use less carrot and more stick to incentivize getting vaccinated.
From France to Greece and from Denmark to Portugal, governments are adding friction to everyday life by mandating proof of vaccination status for a wide array of activities, which often include staying at hotels, dining at restaurants and visiting museums.