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Philly businesses brace for vaccine mandates | Business Weekly Newsletter

Philly will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining, and other news.

A customer at Martha shows his vaccination card on July 31, 2021. Proof of vaccination is needed to dine inside. Patrons without proof can still dine outside.
A customer at Martha shows his vaccination card on July 31, 2021. Proof of vaccination is needed to dine inside. Patrons without proof can still dine outside.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

If you’re visiting Philly next month, bring your vaccination card. You’ll need it to enter bars, restaurants, arenas, and more under the city’s new vaccine mandate.

Philly’s vax requirement starts Jan. 3, the day before President Joe Biden’s broader vaccine rules are scheduled to take effect. There’s still uncertainty about the federal mandate’s future, frustrating some local businesses.

Of course, many businesses have already required vaccination on their own. If you’re one of them, email me back here and tell me how customers and employees have responded.

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— Christian Hetrick (@_Hetrick,

Philly’s vaccine mandate will generally apply wherever “you can eat together indoors,” Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said Monday. That includes cafes, catering halls, movie theaters, and bowling alleys. A full list of which businesses are affected or exempt can be found here.

Those businesses have a few weeks to prepare for enforcement. But companies with more than 100 workers have already braced for mandates, following Biden’s order last month. Almost 80% of Philadelphia-area private sector workers, or 1.8 million employees, would fall under the Biden mandate, according to an analysis by my colleague Bob Fernandez.

But Biden’s rules are still being challenged in court, putting everything on hold. Most legal experts expect lawsuits seeking to block the federal mandate to ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

What else you need to know ...

Other stories ...

Hospitals closing: Brandywine and Jennersville Hospitals will close, leaving thousands in Chester County without nearby emergency care.

Holiday scammers: Online shopping scams became worse during the pandemic. Many of them originate on Facebook and Instagram, which carry ads for fake stamps and other phony products.

Speaking of scams: As consumers flock to live events, they could fall into the trap of paying more for tickets on resale sites, even for events that are not sold out.

Combatting crime: A Northeast Philly anti-theft program promises a low-cost solution to an expensive problem — the surge in catalytic converter thefts.

Mea culpa: Vanguard will modify a popular medical benefit for retirees and employees, instead of cutting it entirely.

Travel reform: The pension fund for Pennsylvania state workers has overhauled its staff travel rules and will no longer permit hedge funds and outside firms to book flights and hotels.

Teenage entrepreneur: Trey Brown, 15, has opened mall stores in King of Prussia and the Washington area after launching his clothing line, Spergo, in Philadelphia barbershops.

Future of work: Work-from-home could change Philadelphia’s economic outlook. Millennials hold the key.