Montgomery County proposes vaccination requirement to enter restaurants and other establishments

The Montgomery County Council will meet Tuesday to discuss a resolution that would adopt a COVID-19 county-vaccination requirement to enter bars, restaurants, fitness centers and other establishments.

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The Board of Health regulation was introduced on Jan. 11 following a recommendation by County Executive Marc Elrich.

The resolution would approve a regulation to:

- Require restaurants, bars, fitness centers, and other "covered establishments and facilities" to require patrons to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before entering indoor areas.

- Phase-in proof of vaccination requirements on specified dates.

- Exempt certain establishments and facilities from the requirement, including establishments and facilities providing essential government services and social services.

- Exempt certain individuals from the requirement, including individuals who enter the facility for a quick and limited purpose, and those who are entitled to medical or religious accommodations.

Under the proposed regulation, the phased-in vaccination requirement would occur as follows:

- Effective January 22, 2022, proof of one dose required for patrons 12 years and older;

- Effective February 15, 2022, proof of all doses (excluding boosters) required for patrons 12 years and older; and

- Effective March 1, 2022, proof of all doses (excluding boosters) required for patrons five years-and-one month and older.

This new proposed Board of Health regulation does not impact Montgomery County's existing guidance on face coverings.