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Chicago restaurant eyes 'vaccinated' and 'unvaccinated' dining sections as restrictions lift

May 24, 2021
4 min read
Chicago restaurant eyes 'vaccinated' and 'unvaccinated' dining sections as restrictions lift
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Chicago is allowing bars, restaurants and even dance floors to reopen at normal capacity with no restrictions like mask-wearing or social distancing, as long as everyone present is vaccinated. To make it easier for everyone to continue to dine out, one restaurant has created separate sections for those who are inoculated and those who aren't.

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Starting this weekend, Moe's Cantina will require proof of vaccination in exchange for a pink wristband that will allow access to the area for patrons who have received their shots. Employees working in those areas must be vaccinated, too.

Moe's Cantina River North owner Sam Sanchez shows what the vaccinated section will look like. Restaurant patrons can dine on the side of the establishment closest to the bar if they show proof that they've had their shots. (Screenshot courtesy of CBS Chicago)

Under the city's new guidelines, customers who have had their shots will be permitted at the bar and at tables on one side of the restaurant, while anyone who hasn't been vaccinated -- or who doesn't provide proof -- can sit in a special section where masks are required (unless seated) and dividers create partitions between tables.

"That's the direction we want to go to get back to normal," Moe's owner and Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Sanchez told CBS Chicago.

Throughout the pandemic, the city has held nearly 50 webinars reaching nearly 5,000 attendees in an effort to keep the hospitality sector informed of the latest operating guidelines.

"...for the first time we are providing recommendations instead of formal requirements as it relates to mask wearing," Chicago's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said in a statement.

Many states are relaxing mask mandates for people who are fully vaccinated. (Photo by Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

As of May 13, (CDC) says vaccinated people can go without masks in most indoor settings. Across the country, states are looking for ways to operate in a less restrictive way, which increasingly involves the relaxation of mandatory mask-wearing policies in public places.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 11 states never had mask mandates in the first place; 18 of the states that did have them have fully lifted them per federal, state and local guidelines.

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Some restaurants, like this one in Dallas, don't require masks. (Photos by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

Texas, for example, removed its mask mandate in March, leaving decisions about masks up to individual restaurants. (Over the weekend, TPG Executive Editor Scott Mayerowitz shared photos, above, from a crowded restaurant in Dallas, no masks required.)

Florida, notorious for its lax COVID-19 rules, never had an official statewide mask mandate. Some counties opted to impose them, but all local requirements were wiped out by an executive order from Governor Ron DeSantis on May 3. Meanwhile, on May 19, New York completely got rid of its mask mandates for anyone who's vaccinated.

Coming out of more than a year of isolation, people are excited to leave home, whether it's to travel or simply to enjoy dining out. That, combined with increased vaccination rates and the relaxation of precautions that kept some people away, has led to increased capacity all around -- at restaurants, theme parks, shopping malls and even on flights.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023