Gov. Cooper wants more restaurants and businesses to require proof of vaccination

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CARRBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper wants to see more restaurants and businesses requiring proof of vaccination.

The governor and his staff were asked to show their CDC vaccine cards while visiting Pizzeria Mercado in Carrboro on Thursday. The restaurant recently implemented a proof of vaccination requirement for customers who dine in.

“For businesses like this, Pizzeria Mercado, to say it’s important to have a vaccine card to be able to come in because we want to protect our customers, our employees, and our community, I think is a great thing,” said Cooper.

The Players’ Retreat in Raleigh led the way being one of the first to have customers show proof they have been vaccinated to dine and drink indoors.

People who are unvaccinated or don’t want to show proof will be seated outside.

Players’ Retreat owner Gus Gusler told CBS17 there was little pushback and that sales are up.

“Although we’re closed one day a week, we have 29 percent less seats than we had pre-COVID, and we’re still 9 percent up on sales. So it’s helped our business, I believe,” Gusler said.

But other restaurants point out the difficulties in requiring customers to show proof of vaccination.

“With the volume of business we’re doing, I just don’t have the staff to stop every single person to say, ‘hey, I need to see your vaccination card,” said Zachary Fields, manager of the Spotted Dog in Carrboro.

When asked about the possibility of a blanket vaccine mandate, Cooper vaguely responded with, “everything is on the table,” but added he would support a vaccine requirement at UNC.

“I would support the university mandating the vaccine. What they’ve done at this point is require verification of vaccine and then testing if you don’t get it. A lot of universities across the country are doing this. I would support that decision if the university were to require it.”

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