COVID-19 Vaccine Required for Indoor Dining in Palm Springs

Kamari Esquerra

Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or testing in order to dine or drink indoors. The mandate doesn’t go into effect until Aug. 26, but some businesses took it upon themselves to implement the vaccine mandate now. 

Eagle 501, one of several bars along Arenas Road, is now requiring proof of vaccination for their customers. 

“They have to show us proof of vaccination,” said Jeff Cocco, a bartender at Eagle 501 Bar. “It can be a picture on their phone or the card itself, the physical card.”

Cocco said customers have responded well to the new requirement.

“Most of these guys are very agreeable to that because they know, it’s for their own protection too,” Cocco said. 

“I’m all for it to be honest,” said Michael Johnson, a usual customer of the bar. 

Palm Springs is the only city in the Coachella Valley to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination so far. 

Johnson said he strongly supports the mandate, but he doesn’t mind going to other bars that haven’t implemented it. 

“At another place I go to, they’re not requiring cards yet,” Johnson said.

Palm Springs City Council voted on the guidance last Wednesday. During the meeting, they shared a survey from the chamber which showed 68% of people were in favor of the news rules, while 31% were opposed. 

The city is mandating the vaccine proof, but it will be up to individual businesses to enforce it.

“It really is going to be up to the businesses,” said Riverside County Senior Public Information Specialist Shane Reichardt.

The county says each business is unique and will have their own rules for what they accept.

“If you’re in doubt, I would reach out to the businesses especially if you’re looking at making a trip or going to visit a business,” Reichardt said. “Check and see what they’re asking for.” 

Indoor restaurants and bars will have three weeks to implement the new vaccine mandate, but so far it seems most restaurants support the new guidelines. 

“I think it’s important people realize we’re doing this to protect them,” said Cocco. “We’re trying to save your life… and make you have a good time with a beer.” 


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