Lingering Covid Requirements for NYC Bars and Restaurants Amount to Pointless Hygiene Theater

Theatrical safety checks don’t keep people safe – vaccines do.

by Liz Wolfe

In a city where 62.8 percent of adults have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 54.4 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, it makes little sense why New York City’s governing bodies continue to exercise heavy-handed control over what private restaurants and bars do to protect their patrons from COVID. It makes even less sense when you consider the specific regulations still in place, and how many of them are relics of a form of shoddy hygiene theater that made some limited amount of sense earlier in the pandemic, before we knew how the virus worked, but are not scientifically justified now.

Current guidance, updated most recently on May 7, requires that temperature checks be conducted upon arrival and that tables remain spaced six feet apart from each other (or have pointless plexiglass barriers, which “must be at least five feet in height,” for some reason, installed between booths).

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