Governor Cuomo encouraging private businesses to go to ‘vaccine-only admission’

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Businesses in the Capital Region are reacting to Governor Cuomo encouraging them to adopt a “no vax no service” policy to further incentivize the vaccine.

“I am asking them, and suggesting to them, go to vaccine-only admission,” the governor said during his COVID update Monday morning.

Vaccine-only admission is something that’s already being done locally at Caffè Lena.

“So many people were saying thank you for asking for my card, nobody else has asked me for my card, thank you, makes me feel better,” said Sarah Craig, Executive Director of Caffè Lena.

The Saratoga business opened earlier this year, and is requiring everyone, including staff, volunteers, performers and guests, to be vaccinated.

“Our mission is to make sure that people can come out and see live music, have these joyful experiences and begin to return to life as normal,” Craig explained.

Caffè Lena is also asking everyone to mask-up when they’re not seated, and they’ve installed UV and air filtration devices to further protect from the virus.

Over the weekend, one of the performers that played there Friday night tested positive.

“If we hadn’t had that vaccination order in place, I can’t imagine how I would be feeling today. I would be very scared, because I would be worried about everybody who was in that space,” said Craig.

With the precautions in place, Craig says health experts consider Friday night a low-risk.

But not every business owner is on board with the governor’s suggestion.

“You guys now have to police and verify who’s vaccinated, and who’s not, and potentially have issues, because it’s a very hot topic issue,” said Jason Pierce, the president of the Albany Restaurant Association.

Pierce says he’s spoken with many local restaurant owners, and isn’t aware of any that are currently considering the governor’s encouragement.

“Nobody likes to be told, hey because of this, you can’t come in this establishment. And of course, restaurant owners don’t want to do that, they don’t want to be put in the position to tell people, no you can’t come in,” he said.

Pierce said the Albany Restaurant Association is not in favor of the “vaccine-only admission” policy at this time.

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