(ATLANTA, Ga.) As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Georgia, the city of Atlanta reinstated its mask mandate. The mandate requires individuals to wear masks indoors in public places, including establishments like restaurants and bars.
The mandate follows the release of updated mask guidance by the CDC, recommending fully vaccinated people also wear face coverings within “public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.”
With the new Delta variant running rampant in addition to hospitalizations across the state, the metro Atlanta area is seeing some temporary closures of restaurants and is forecasting a potential decline in the food industry similar to last year.
In order to avoid public backlash, some Atlanta restaurants are now implementing new COVID safety policies. One includes requiring customers to providing a negative COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination or both before dining inside. Atlanta establishments are the latest to join cities like San Francisco, New York City, Detroit, New Orleans and Los Angeles with no vaccination, no services policies.
While restaurant owners are able to establish these policies, individuals are able to refuse showing proof under the guise of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws.
However, asking for this information by a restaurant or retail shop is not a violation under HIPAA, which prohibits the release of personal health information and records by a doctor, physician’s office, or hospital, health insurance or billing company, or other “covered entities” under the act without an individual’s prior consent.
This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.