The City of Palm Springs has implemented new COVID-19 safety restrictions on bars and restaurants because of the Delta variant.

Just when you thought it was safe to slowly start moving around the country without wearing a mask indoors, the Delta variant put a wrench in the works. And keep your vaccination proof handy if you have dining or drinking plans.

last week, the Palm Springs City Council approved new citywide COVID-19 safety mask requirements in hopes of keeping the spread of the virus down.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have advised wearing masks since the early days of the pandemic. They say face coverings reduce the spray of droplets that can infect others.

Palm Springs is a popular travel destination for the LGBTQ community and these new rules may have an effect on tourism. Mayor Christy Holstege orchestrated the vote and pushed for approval of COVID precautions after locals expressed concerns.

“The top priority of the City Council is always the health and safety of our community and we have heard from our residents, businesses and workers overwhelmingly that they want their leaders to set an example and implement necessary precautions to keep Palm Springs safe," said Mayor Holstege.

“We have made hard decisions quickly to hopefully prevent harder decisions in the near future," Holstege added. “Our residents, businesses and workers recognize the need to once again pivot, and the City Council has listened. I am extremely proud of our community."

One popular business owner says he welcomes the mandate. INNdulge resort's Jon Jackson is not only looking out for his patrons but the security of his crew.

“We made this decision for the safety of our staff and guests," says Jackson. "The gay community is full of high-risk individuals, whether because of age, HIV status or other health issues. This is simply the right thing to do."

One thing to note is although proof of vaccination is required at the door of bars and restaurants, that rule does not apply to hotels.

The new Palm Springs regulations approved by City Council are as follows:

  • Effective immediately, customers, employees and other visitors are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings, such as stores and restaurants, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours required indoors when entering a bar or restaurant. Restaurants have three weeks to implement the necessary requirements. Deadline is Thursday, Aug. 26.
  • Proof of vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours required for all ticketed, City-permitted large events, such as Splash House and Dinah Shore Weekend, effective immediately.
  • Face coverings required at VillageFest, the City's weekly Thursday night street fair, beginning Thursday, Aug. 12.
  • City employees required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

For more information and updates regarding the City's COVID-19 response, visit www.palmspringsca.gov.

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