McDonald’s Will Require Workers and Customers to Wear Masks, Vaccinated or Not

McDonald's at sunset

Fast food chain McDonald’s is requiring all its staff and customers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to resume wearing masks in its restaurants in areas deemed high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The company first announced its new rules in an internal memo to franchisees and workers, CNBC reported. The rules, which went into effect Monday, follow updated guidance last week from the CDC, which recommended fully-vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus.

McDonald’s told the Daily Caller News Foundation the change in policy was due to the CDC’s updated guidance, and said the company was following the science in making its decision.

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A Majority of Americans Support ‘Vaccine Passports’ for Some Activities, Poll Finds

Photo of two passports in person's hand

A majority of Americans support requiring proof of vaccinations when traveling on planes and attending events with large crowds, a Gallup poll released Friday shows.

The survey found that 57% of Americans supported requiring proof of vaccination on airplanes and that 55% supported requiring proof for events like concerts, shows and live sports. Just 43% and 45% of Americans said they were opposed, respectively.

Majorities of Americans, however, rejected “vaccine passports” for dining at restaurants, going to work and staying in a hotel. Just 40%, 45% and 44% of Americans supported requiring proof of vaccination for each activity.

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Ohio Restaurants, Bars Struggle to Find Employees

An empty bar

As sales slowly improve, Ohio’s restaurants and bars now face another issue that threatens ongoing COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts: lack of employees.

Ohio Restaurant Association President and CEO John Barker believes the intentions behind continued federal and state stimulus benefits are good, but a consequence is a lack of available employees as the state eases COVID-19 restrictions and customer traffic increases.

“Unemployment is an issue. There’s no question about it,” Barker said. “The intention by the government, both at the federal and state level, was to take care of people who are displaced and very much in need. It was the right thing to do. The problem we have now is these are looking like they’re going to be extended all the way through the fall. On top of that, people are getting big stimulus checks. And in some cases, they may be making more money staying at home than going back to work. And so, it’s a combination of factors.”

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Ohio Restaurants, Bars Ask Congress for Immediate Help

Faced with continued closures, layoffs and an upcoming extension of a statewide curfew, Ohio restaurants and bars want Congress to move quickly to pass relief.

In a letter to Ohio’s U.S. senators as well as the House and Senate leadership, the Ohio Restaurant Association said things are worsening in the state and asked for a return to negotiations.

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Ohio’s Largest City Wants to Cap Delivery Fees for Restaurants

With Ohioans facing an ongoing curfew and continued pressure from Gov. Mike DeWine to stay at home, the state’s largest city plans to take steps to help both restaurants and their customers.

In an effort to help small businesses and the restaurant community, the Columbus City Council announced plans for legislation to cap third-party delivery services, according to President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and Council President Shannon G. Hardin.

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Another Restaurant Chain, Friendly’s, Hits Wall in Pandemic

Friendly’s Restaurants, the 85-year-old East Coast dining chain known for its Fribble milkshakes and ice cream sundaes, is filing for bankruptcy protection.

It joins a growing list of well-established restaurant chains that are failing due to an unchecked pandemic in the United States.

George Michel, CEO of FIC Restaurants Inc., Friendly’s parent company, said COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic impact” on operations. FIC will sell essentially all of its assets to the restaurant company Amici Partners Group.

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New York City Could Lose Half of All Bars, Restaurants

The Daily Caller reports, New York City could see up to half its restaurants and bars close permanently in the next six months because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new audit released Thursday from the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“New York City’s bars and restaurants are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances and many eateries operate on tight margins. Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever,” DiNapoli said, according to an official statement.

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New York City Says Outdoor Dining Will Become ‘Permanent and Year-Round’

New York City plans to make its flourishing outdoor dining economy a permanent fixture of the city’s landscape going forward, municipal officials said in a press release on Friday. 

The city’s “Open Restaurants” program, which has enrolled thousands of establishments since it debuted in June, “will be extended year-round and made permanent,” the city announced in the press release.

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No Credible Evidence to Support Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s July Shutdown of Bars and Reduction of Restaurant Capacity, Despite Bullying Tactics by His Administration

When Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference that he was shutting down all the city’s bars for 14 days, reducing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, and temporarily closing event venues and entertainment venues, all due to “record” cases of COVID-19 traceable to restaurants and bars, he apparently knew that his own Metro Health Department said less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments. But he failed to disclose that the “record” of bar and restaurant traceable cases to which he referred to was about one tenth of one percent of Davidson County’s 20,000 cases of COVID-19.

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Ohio Health Czar Acton Extends Dining Provisions Until July 1, Gov. DeWine Assembles Restaurant Police Force to Threaten Removal of Liquor Licenses

Between Health Director Dr. Amy Acton sneaking in an extension of her dining orders until July 1 and Governor Mike DeWine assembling a restaurant police force, one may wonder if Ohio is really reopening.

Late last Thursday, following the final press conference of the week, Acton issued the “Director’s Dine Safe Ohio Order,” which is available here. The order allowed outside restaurant dining as of last Friday. 

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Georgia’s Restaurants, Barber Shops Are Coming Back to Life as Lockdowns Ease, Data Show

Georgia’s restaurants and barber shops are seeing a slow but steady increase in traffic after Gov. Brian Kemp began easing up the economic lockdowns he imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic, location data show.

Visits to the state’s barber shops and tattoo parlors increased to 80% of pre-coronavirus levels after Georgia began rolling back own stay-at-home orders on April 24, according to data released by Foursquare, a location technology platform. Data also show restaurants are on the rebound.

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Gov. DeWine Announces Bars, Restaurants and Personal Care Services Can Open on May 15 in Some Capacity

Ohioans waiting to go to bars, eat at restaurants, get their hair cut, or nails done will not have to wait much longer, as Gov. Mike DeWine announced that next Friday these businesses will open in some capacity.

“Reopening Ohio is a risk, but it’s also a risk if you don’t move forward. We’re on a dangerous road that has never been traveled before in Ohio and the danger is that we relax and stop taking precautions,” DeWine said. “All of us collectively control this. I ask you to take calculated risks and make good judgments. Continue social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing face coverings. If you aren’t concerned with what happens to you, do it for others.”

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Taskforce Will Help Develop Best Practices to Reopen Ohio’s Restaurants, Barbershops, Salons

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he is forming a pair of advisory groups tasked with developing best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants, barbershops and salons.

The group will develop recommendations to protect the health of employees and customers as businesses reopen. It will be comprised of relevant business associations, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford; Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina; House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron; and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights.

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DeWine May Cut State Budgets by Up to 20 Percent, But Public Sector Cannot Match Loss of Private Sector’s 188K Lost Jobs

Even as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine orders state departments to cut up to 20 percent of their budgets and implement a hiring freeze, state workers are not feeling the coronavirus economic burn like the private sector.

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STUDY: Minimum Wage Hikes Are Killing Jobs in California’s Poorest Communities

by Tim Pearce   California’s minimum wage increase has cost the state thousands of jobs worth of growth in the state’s booming restaurant industry, according to a recent study by the University of California Riverside. Delayed Effects California passed a bill in 2016 to bring the state’s minimum wage up to $15…

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