The Delta variant of COVID-19, now the primary variant in the U.S,. has led restaurants to take customer and employee safety into their own hands. Regardless of local mask mandates, restaurants implemented their own safety measures, such as required proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test, this week.

According to the New York Times, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is more contagious and deadly than previous variants, mainly because of a change in the spikes around the membrane that make the virus easier to spread. Additionally, unvaccinated people face a higher risk of death or severe illness with this variant compared to last year’s strain, which left approximately 600,000 Americans dead

Vaccinated people, although less likely to suffer from severe effects, can still spread to others. Because of these changing conditions, the CDC has revised its guidelines for fully vaccinated people, stating that fully vaccinated people need to resume mask-wearing in indoor public places.

Restaurant patrons in D.C., New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles can expect to encounter vaccination requirements at certain restaurants. However, diners across the country have expressed mixed reactions to the escalating number of restaurants mandating proof of vaccination or a negative test to eat indoors.

In response to an Instagram post by Atlanta restaurant Argosy, announcing their new vaccine requirement for patrons, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene slammed the decision on Twitter, inaccurately comparing it to segregation. “Will you be testing everyone at the door for the flu, strep throat, stomach bugs, colds, meningitis, aids, venereal diseases, Hep A, Hep C, staff (sic) infections, athletes foot, pink eye, croup, bronchitis, ringworm, scabies, or any other contagions?” she wrote.

In response to Greene’s tweet, author and pastor John Pavlovitz said, “Segregation is your life blood. This is called protecting people from a virus and from the stupidity around them.”

While the mayor of Atlanta has imposed an indoor mask mandate, the city still does not have any sort of widespread vaccine requirements for patrons to dine-in restaurants.

In contrast, New York City announced their plan Tuesday to require indoor diners and restaurant workers to show proof of at least one vaccine. Even one vaccine will offer in protecting those who receive it. New York City’s indoor diners will be able to show their proof of vaccination by showing their physical vaccination card, or by using apps such as NYC Covid Safe.

After weeks of voicing concern, New York City councilmember Mark Levine released a statement about the city’s plan on Twitter.

“Thanks to the new vaccine requirements, having a meal indoors, working out at the gym, or seeing a show are about to become much safer in NYC,” Levine said. “Make sure you don't miss out. Get your shot, and then be ready to prove you are vaxxed.”

But some New York City restaurants imposed their own vaccination requirements before the government’s announcement. Additionally, the city’s mandate will not be enforced until September 2021. Yellow Rose, an East Village restaurant specializing in Tex-Mex, released a statement on July 30 about their new vaccine and PCR testing requirements via Instagram.

“Proof of vaccination/recent negative PCR covid test will be REQUIRED to sit and eat inside our humble establishment,” the statement said. “Never fear, we have plenty of wonderful outdoor tables available in our trusty vestibule for you to sit in if the vax has got you scared (???????).”

Many states, including California, Connecticut, Nevada, New York, and Washington have reinstated indoor mask mandates in certain areas, including those who are vaccinated. Los Angeles County diners, for example, are subject to the state’s newly reinstated indoor mask mandate. However, like New York City and Atlanta, a growing number of Los Angeles restaurants are requiring proof of vaccination or recent PCR testing upon entry.

According to the CDC, restaurants that have not reduced their seating capacity or spaces out their tables at least six feet apart remain the “highest risk” in regard to dining options. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks indoors “in areas of substantial or high transmission.”

Restaurant-focused review service Yelp announced Thursday that they are offering a new feature that will help diners identify businesses that require both patrons to show proof of vaccination and employees to be fully vaccinated. “With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID Delta variant, we’re seeing an increasing number of businesses implement new safety measures to protect their employees and communities,” the statement read.

Yelp users will be able to filter and search for restaurants and bars using these new features. Yelp will also monitor the pages of businesses who elect to display these new features on their pages to prevent negative feedback from those who do not support these policies.