Don’t Forget! Proof of Vaccination Required to Enter Some Chicago Businesses Beginning Today

In case you forgot, the city of Chicago’s mandate that certain city business will require proof of vaccination beginning today, January 3rd. Those business include, but are not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms & other fitness clubs, and entertainment venues such as sporting events. Patrons will be required to show proof to enter these business, as per Mayor Lightfoot’s announcement in December.

The city’s decision comes after similar requirements were implemented in other major cities across the United States. This was inevitable it seemed like as the colder months set in and the new variant spread. It felt as if we were trending toward changes in restrictions, however, this was done in order to avoid the catastrophic possibility of shutting down indoor usage of local establishments—a move that decimated a lot of small businesses in 2020.


Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said his group pushed for “as business-friendly mitigations as they could get” amid the surge since the industry is still in a “fragile recovery,” he said. “Capacity limits would kill the the industry,” but vaccine passports would keep businesses in operation, Toia said.


Here is a list of businesses that will require proof of vaccination beginning today, via Block Club Chicago:

Indoor dining spots

  • Restaurants.
  • Bars.
  • Fast food establishments.
  • Coffee shops.
  • Tasting rooms.
  • Cafeterias.
  • Food courts.
  • Dining areas of grocery stores.
  • Breweries.
  • Wineries.
  • Distilleries.
  • Banquet halls.
  • Hotel ballrooms.

Indoor fitness establishments

  • Gyms.
  • Recreation facilities.
  • Fitness centers.
  • Yoga, pilates, cycling, barre and dance studios.
  • Hotel gyms.
  • Boxing and kickboxing gyms.
  • Fitness boot camps.
  • Other facilities used for conducting indoor group fitness classes.

Indoor entertainment and recreation venues where food and drinks are served

  • Movie theaters.
  • Music and concert venues.
  • Live performance venues.
  • Adult entertainment venues.
  • Commercial event and party venues.
  • Sports arenas.
  • Performing arts theaters.
  • Bowling alleys.
  • Arcades.
  • Card rooms.
  • Family entertainment centers.
  • Play areas.
  • Pool and billiard halls.
  • Other recreational game centers.

However, there are a indoor places that are exempt from this. They are:

  • Schools.
  • Day cares.
  • Houses of worship.
  • Grocery stores (though indoor dining sections inside grocery stores are included in the mandate).
  • Locations in O’Hare and Midway airports.
  • Locations in residential or office buildings that are limited to residents, owners or tenants of the building.
  • Food service establishments that provide charitable food services, like soup kitchens.

Featured Image Credit: Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash