King County will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for restaurants, gyms and more

SEATTLE, Wash. — Masking up in King County isn’t going to be enough anymore for anyone dining inside or attending an outdoor event with more than 500 people there.

On Thursday, King County health leaders said that in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community, they were mandating vaccines or proof of negative COVID-19 tests for places like restaurants, bars and theaters. This also applies to events like sports and entertainment events that are held outside.

The new mandate goes into effect for everyone 12 and older on Oct. 15. Smaller restaurants and bars will have until Dec. 6 to comply. Smaller means having a seating capacity of 12 or less.

Here’s a breakdown of what the order will apply to:

  • Sporting events or concerts outside where there will be 500 people or more.
  • Restaurants and bars. This is for indoor dining only. It does not apply to outdoor seating or takeout.
  • Indoor events like concerts, sporting games and theater performances.
  • Indoor spaces like conferences, conventions and gyms.

King County health experts said it will be up to businesses and venues to comply with the new order. They also said they don’t think it would be a permanent order.

The changes come as the Delta variant surges across the nation.

You can find more information on the new order here.

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