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Is the Covid certificate necessary in the US?

States have begun to implement their own vaccine mandates for indoor venues, while travel into the US is still restricted for non-citizens.

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of Moderna coronavirus disease  vaccine at a vaccination centre in Karachi, Pakistan.
Akhtar SoomroReuters

Philadelphia has announced that admission to many indoor places in the city will need covid-19 vaccination proof for entry, beginning on January 3, 2022. Full-vaccination is required, at this stage meaning two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Establishments can accept negative covid-19 tests taken within 24 hours of entry instead of proof of vaccination for the first two weeks of the mandate, but this exception will end on January 17, according to the news release.

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The largest city in Pennsylvania said the mandate will apply to the following types of establishments:

  • Indoor restaurant spaces and bars,
  • Cafes within museums,
  • Catering halls and food courts,
  • Entertainment venues, conventions and casinos where food is served,
  • Cinemas and bowling alleys.

Philadelphia follows other cities in supporting vaccine mandates

New York City has a mandate in place, that was expanded today to include children between 5 and 12 to have received one dose. Indoor spaces for restaurants and other venues are restricted, apart from those who can prove their vaccination status.

The same goes for San Francisco, although proof of a negative test will suffice. However, in New Orleans, the rules allow for a negative test result.

In Los Angeles, all customers served in the indoor part of a food or beverage establishment and other types of indoor venues must show proof of full vaccination before entry.

Seattle requires that people 12-years and older be able to show proof of full vaccination or be able to present a negative test result to enter restaurants and bars, indoor sports events and outdoor sports events, but only ones with more than 500 people.

What other types of vaccine mandates are there?

On December 2, President Biden announced that the mask mandate for people on transport would be extended until March 18, due to the Omicron variant risks. The new variant, first detected in South Africa, has shown evidence that it is resistant to vaccines, as well as being more transmissible compared to the Delta variant.

All inbound international travelers are required to test within one day of departure for the United States.

This new testing time frame will apply to everyone, "regardless of nationality or vaccination status," says the White House, which explained their plan on their website.


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