NEW YORK - "Right after it went on sale all of a sudden there was news of the Delta variant and the masks are back on, a lot of questions," said Bill Zafiros, owner of Marquee Concerts.
The now-empty theater at Palladium Times Square will finally see music lovers back in its seats come this weekend. Zafiros, a show promoter, is putting on a contemporary jazz concert on Saturday— his first show in 19 months. It comes as the city is now enforcing the indoor vaccine mandate. Zafiros thinks the mandate will scare away some, but will be beneficial for the most part.
"The vaccine mandate will give some people comfort that everyone going into an inside venue is vaccinated, so I think that helps in some cases," said Zafiros.
"I think it’s a good idea, I’m comfortable with it, I’m vaccinated and I like to know that when I go into an enclosed area that it’s safe," said Jane Gursky, a New Jersey resident who comes to the city often to visit her daughter.
This requirement first went into effect last month, but starting now it will be enforced. Every guest and employee needs to have proof of at least one covid shot in order to enter dozens of indoor settings across the city. Some of those settings include movie theaters, bowling alleys, sports arenas, and restaurants. Upper East Side Restaurant owner Richie Romero wants to keep his staff and customers safe but thinks the new rules will be challenging.
"We put our life savings on the line building these places and we have to practice hospitality, so the angle now of us having to police people it’s pretty devastating. We don’t have security guards, so to ask a counter person or a hostess to ask for papers it’s a lot," said Romero.
Businesses that violate the vaccine mandate will face penalties. The first violation will just be a warning. The second violation will be a $1,000 fine, the third violation will be A $2,000 fine and a fourth and all future violations will be $5,000.