City amends mask, vaccine requirements for some service businesses

Palm Springs bars and restaurants have three weeks to comply with new city mandates aimed at combating COVID-19. Some, as seen in this announcement, are already taking action.

Palm Springs officials announced Friday that customers and clients at certain businesses would not be required to wear masks as long as they can provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test result from the past 72 hours.

The move is a modification of requirements approved during a special meeting on Wednesday. The City Council voted unanimously to require masks inside all city businesses and proof of vaccination or negative test to dine at restaurants, enter bars, or attend large-scale ticketed events. The amendment aims primarily at dentist offices and salons, where removing a face covering is necessary to receive service.

Officials made it clear on Wednesday the mandates will not be proactively enforced by police and code enforcement officers. Their implementation is seen mainly as a move to back downtown restaurant and bar owners who are already putting the measures in place. Restaurants and bars have three weeks to put measures in place to check for vaccination or negative tests.

The Palm Springs City Council also did not address how customers and clients will prove vaccination or negative test status, leaving that up to individual business owners. Also not addressed was whether employees of city businesses would be required to be vaccinated or show a negative test. Dozens of area businesses, however, have reported they will implement those requirements.

“Everyone who was employed got it as soon as they could so it was never an issue,” Jeffrey Bernstein, owner of Destination PSPS on North Palm Canyon Drive, told Donald Grimm, who has been compiling and sharing a list of local employers and agencies requiring mandatory vaccinations or weekly testing and sharing it on Facebook.

As expected, the measures put into place Wednesday and the amendment announced Friday drew mixed reactions from the public. On local social media pages, some praised the city for its leadership in combating a spike in COVID-19 cases, while others threatened never to visit the city again and labeled the move “an attack on all businesses” and “Marxism at its best.”

Digital proof of vaccine: Anyone in the state of California who has been vaccinated can get a digital record of their vaccine by using the online Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal located here. After entering in a few details you get a link to a QR code and digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record.


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