People looking to dine indoors in Cathedral City will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. On Wednesday, Cathedral City council members voted 4-1 to remove the city order that would require this for entry into indoor dining establishments.
Councilmember Rita Lamb was the sole no vote.
The order has been in place since August 11. The vote rescinds the order immediately. The council also unanimously voted to extend the city's mask order through Oct. 31.
The city released a statement regarding the policy change on Thursday:
The City Council voted Wednesday night to loosen some of the COVID-19 requirements as health data reported to Riverside County shows significant reductions in the number of positive coronavirus cases in Cathedral City. Rescinded immediately was Emergency Order #6 that required restaurants, bars, and similar type facilities to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to dine or drink indoors. Patrons will no longer need to show proof to eat or drink indoors.
Although the number of positive cases had lowered significantly, the council decided to extend, out of caution, Emergency Order #5 that requires the use of facial coverings (masks) at all indoor public spaces and outdoor public spaces when social distancing with others outside of your household is not possible. Several exceptions would include eating, drinking, or receiving services that requires the removal of a mask including facials and facial hair treatments. Emergency Order #5 will extend through October 31, 2021. The City Council will look at the positive case data by October 31st to determine whether there is a need to extend the mask requirement beyond October 31st or to rescind or amend the order.
Some Cathedral City businesses News Channel 3 spoke with on Thursday say they didn't mind enforcing the original mandate: “It helped us feel better...absolutely. We felt safer," said Michael Maraz, Trunks Bar, Cathedral City.
Jeff McDonald at The Roost Lounge shared that business had actually increased because of the requirement: “The customers feel safe coming in here because we’re asking for the vaccination cards."
While city health data confirms a downward trend over the last three weeks, Cathedral City still remains the valley city with the third highest number of cases. As a result, some businesses say they'll make their own decision when it comes to the policy at the door.
“We’re not out of the woods...I need to protect our staff and the customers that come here. The Roost will continue to ask for those vaccinations cards because it’s the right thing to do right now.”
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