It’s unclear to me why any families would be planning a tourist trip to New York City with all of the garbage going on there these days, but there are reportedly still people making the journey. For those who do so with younger children, an unpleasant surprise was awaiting them. Anyone attempting to go out for dinner at a restaurant or most any other indoor venue with children between the ages of five and eleven found that they were being turned away unless they provided proof that their children had received at least one vaccination against COVID. The New York Post spoke with several such families yesterday and they were absolutely livid. Many were seeking ways to shorten their trips and return home. And starting tomorrow, the restrictions will apply to even more of them.
Parents who planned to dine out with their kids in the Big Apple on Monday were shocked to find out that 5- to 11-year-olds can’t get into restaurants without being vaccinated against the coronavirus — and the rule is about to get even tougher.
Erik St. Martin, a software engineer from Florida, 38, said he and his daughter Allie, 7, were turned away from the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square because she hasn’t gotten any shots.
“We are in New York for another week and it’s going to be a real pain not being allowed to eat at restaurants,” St. Martin said.
So fully vaccinated parents can’t take their children who are five or older into a diner, a museum, a theater, or any of the other traditional indoor tourist attractions unless they’ve had at least one COVID shot and can produce a vaccine passport. But starting tomorrow, they will need to be “fully vaccinated” to be allowed inside indoor venues. That means at least two shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, with the second having been given less than six months ago.
That was particularly problematic for some visitors who came from outside of the country. One couple from Costa Rica told the Post that they were fully vaccinated, but their children were not because children aren’t allowed to receive the vaccine there yet. They were informed at one restaurant that they would be able to dine outside if they wished, but the temperature was in the thirties and a damp mixture of snow and rain was falling. Who is going to make a five-year-old sit outside to eat in that sort of weather?
Aren’t children stressed out enough as it is? We were recently informed that there is an epidemic of mental health issues among children right now, largely stemming from not only the pandemic but the government mandates that have been rolled out in response to it. Imagine the reaction by some children who were finally freed from their in-home isolation to go on a family vacation, only to be treated like lepers when they arrived at their destination.
At the same time, tourists can forget about some of the more popular shopping options in the Big Apple as well, and that applies whether they have children or not. Apple has shut down all 14 of its brick and mortar stores and “genius bars” in the city, citing the spread of the Omicron variant as the reason. Other non-essential retail chains are reportedly considering the same option.
There are only a handful of days left before Mayor Bill de Blasio finally packs his bags and vacates City Hall, to be replaced by incoming Mayor Eric Adams. Will Adams embrace any more sane policies when it comes to pandemic restrictions and make the city a bit more open and liveable? He hasn’t suggested many changes along those lines thus far. But if he doesn’t cut back on some of this insanity after being sworn in, his honeymoon period in his new job may turn out to be rather short.