A beach towel, sunscreen, flip flops — and a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine card?
State Senator Julian Cyr of Truro said Thursday that those looking to visit Cape Cod this summer should bring proof of vaccination with them, anticipating some businesses will require it as a way to ensure employees and guests are safe. The CDC vaccine card is the slip of paper people receive when they get their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, and it lists the date, or dates, that shots were administered.
“I’m hearing this primarily from night clubs or other venues where you have a really crowded space with a lot of people,” said Cyr, a Democrat whose district covers the Cape and Islands. “Businesses have the prerogative to request proof of vaccination … This is what they want to do, and I think it makes employees feel respected and safe.”
Cyr’s comments come as Massachusetts prepares to lift nearly all COVID-19 capacity restrictions on businesses. Starting May 29, bars will be able to serve alcohol without food, and fully vaccinated people will no longer be mandated by the state to wear a mask or social distance. But businesses are free to implement their own restrictions and could require proof of vaccination.
That will be happening at The Boatslip Resort in Provincetown, a beachfront hotel known for throwing massive outdoor dance parties that start at 4 p.m., when it’s “time for Tea.” The resort will host its first dance party on June 3.
“As a large venue, we will need you to present proof of vaccination against Covid-19 at the door,” the resort wrote in a post on Facebook last week, adding that the actual vaccine card, or a photo of it, would suffice. “So, get your shots and we will see you on the dance floor.”
The Atlantic House, a dance club in Provincetown also known as the A-House, will also be requesting proof of vaccination.
”I think for the beginning of the summer, it is better to ease into it,” manager Lawrence Yahn said. “We’ll do this similar to the way we check IDs at the door, and if someone has a photo of the vaccine card on their phone, we’ll accept it that way.”
Cyr suggests visitors to the Cape also bring a mask, because some establishments may still require them, and patience, because the area is dealing with a workforce shortage that may make service slower than usual.
“People are welcoming to the fact that vaccinations will be required,” Cyr said. “A night club can be a very efficient place for respiratory infection to spread. I don’t think this will be necessary in perpetuity, but right now … it keeps everyone a bit safer.”
Bob Luz, president of the state’s restaurant association, said he has not heard of any other restaurants or hotels asking for proof of vaccination, but he said some businesses may ask that their staff, or customers, continue wearing masks for the time being instead.
“Any business can institute any restriction that they choose to, but they are not required to do anything as of tomorrow,” Luz said Friday.
Outside of the Cape, some businesses have been puzzling over the best way to address vaccination status.
Several nightlife venues and bars in the Boston area have said they will not require proof of vaccination when pandemic-era restrictions lift on Saturday, including Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co., The Greatest Bar, and Royale.
Tatyana Souza, the owner of Coolidge Yoga in Brookline, will open her studio next week for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but instead of asking for vaccine cards, she will have all clients fill out a form to attest that they’ve been vaccinated before allowing them to come inside without a face covering.
And at the J.P. Licks chain of ice cream shops, founder Vincent Petryk said he thinks it would be unreasonable to have customers prove their vaccination status, so he won’t be requiring employees or customers to wear masks.
“People are going to lie through their teeth, but we can’t be the police,” he said. “The police are not even the police on this one.”