About the update, Noorie Malik, VP of user operations at Yelp wrote in a recent blog post: "With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID Delta variant, we’re seeing an increasing number of businesses implement new safety measures to protect their employees and communities. To help consumers understand how a business is currently operating as pandemic guidelines continue to evolve, today, Yelp is announcing two new, free attributes—'Proof of vaccination required' and 'All staff fully vaccinated.' Users will be able to filter by these attributes when searching for local businesses on Yelp."
Businesses will have the option of updating their profiles to reflect this information, as well as whether the staff wears masks. To prevent reviews based on a restaurant's COVID-19 policies, Yelp is proactively monitoring pages of businesses that activate these attributes.
- A.G. Breitenstein, A.G. Breitenstein is the founder of Folx Health, the first company to provide customized medical treatment and care specifically for the needs and goals of the queer and trans communities through telemedicine services.
"In recent weeks, we’ve seen a rise in reviews focused on people’s stance on COVID vaccinations rather than their actual experience with the business," says Malik. "Throughout the pandemic, we’ve placed Unusual Activity Alerts on a Yelp page when we uncover an influx of activity in response to a business gaining public attention for their stance on COVID health and safety practices—including requiring vaccinations for employees and-or customers."
News of the Yelp vaccination filters comes days after New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced it would soon be necessary to provide proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in many spaces, including indoor dining. The program will begin on Aug. 16 with enforcement beginning Sept. 13. “If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” he said at a news conference. Similar programs have also begun in France and Italy, and have led to an increase in vaccination rates.
When going to a restaurant that requires proof of vaccination, be sure to check to see what constitutes evidence of your vaxx status. For some places, a digital vaccine passport, like New York's Excelsior Pass, may work, while others may require the original vaccine card.
To make time spent in public indoor spaces safer, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you pick uncrowded, well-ventilated places, stay at least six-feet apart from others, wear your mask correctly and consistently, and limit the amount of time you spend with others.
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