No shot, no show (or dinner): Several local businesses have announced that they are mandating proof of vaccination for entrance. The announcement follows dramatic spikes in COVID-19, due to the spread of the Delta variant, particularly among unvaccinated populations, and a rising percent positive rate. Masks mandates are in effect in Durham, Orange, and Chatham County. 

Motorco Music Hall was the first to announce that it would require proof of vaccination for entrance to scheduled shows. Now, Cat’s Cradle has announced that it would be requiring proof of “a completed COVID-19 vaccination card, with their final dose at least fourteen days prior to the event, or a negative COVID-19 test result from 72 hours or less prior to the event” for entrance to a show.

The Haw River Ballroom, meanwhile, announced that its policy was entrance solely by proof of complete vaccination, with an exception for the upcoming September 8 Julien Baker and September 13 Lucy Dacus shows, where patrons can be admitted as long as they show a negative PCR test from “within 72 hours before either show.” The venue says that this is because of the timing of the shows, which might preclude patrons from getting a full round of shots by the show dates. 

“We are sorry but if you are not vaccinated, science says that now is not the time to be in an indoor crowded space,” reads a Q&A on the ballroom page. “We are particularly sorry when it comes to children under 12 or anyone that is medically unable to receive the vaccine, but for now, as a private business, we have decided to move forward with what we strongly believe is the safest choice for our customers, staff and artists with the goal of keeping people safe and live music possible.”

Meanwhile, at least a couple big outdoor shows in Raleigh—Maroon 5’s September 15 concert at Coastal Credit Union Music Park, and the Killers’ September 27 show at Red Hat Amphitheater—will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entrance, though these policies appear to be specific to the shows and as of yet are not venue policies. 

As thousands of college students return to local campuses this month—many of whom seem to have an interest in obtaining fake vaccination cards—ironing out stricter entrance requirements has become a pressing issue for business owners. 

Some area restaurants and bars have also made the shift toward vaccination requirements. Back in June, Player’s Retreat in Raleigh was the first restaurant to announce this dining requirement, and last week, Rue Cler in Durham and Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro followed suit. On Tuesday, downtown Durham bar Kingfisher announced that they were also making this change. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing to offer Durham a beautiful, safe place to relax, have a drink, and enjoy some small peace of mind for a few moments of the day,” Kingfisher co-owner Michelle Vanderwalker told the INDY. “We believe that we can do this best at this time by requiring vaccination of our staff and guests.”

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