DC businesses prepare for new COVID-19 vaccine mandate beginning this weekend

Some D.C. businesses say they're anxious about the new vaccine mandate taking effect this weekend, and most of the concern isn't about those who live in District, but people coming from other states who may not know about the new requirements.

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"It’s hard to prepare for something we haven’t done before like this, but we’ll do the best we can with it," says Allen Rose, the business manager for Copacabana in northwest D.C.

Beginning Saturday, venues across D.C. will be required to check for proof of vaccination before letting someone inside.

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required in restaurants, nightclubs, taverns, coffee shops, food halls, concert, live entertainment and sporting venues, gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters, bowling alleys and more.

READ MORE: DC’s new COVID-19 vaccination entry requirement begins this weekend

Rose says he just hopes things will run smooth, but he does have concerns about people giving pushback to the mandate.

One business that has already experienced this is Busboys and Poets. The CEO and founder Andy Shallal told FOX 5 they started asking for proof of vaccination early to see what reaction would be.

"We had an incident I know early on where somebody came in and got very upset and kicked one of our signs actually that said vaccine required," he says.

Some businesses are also considering the possibility of losing customers over the mandate.


"There’s a worry about that, but again I think it’s a small percentage and I also think that the purpose for us to do this is greater than that small percentage loss of customers," says Andy Ajkobyan, manager of Yerevan DC.