California Restaurant Demands Customers Prove They’re Unvaccinated

A restaurant in the conservative Southern California town of Huntington Beach is demanding that customers prove they’re unvaccinated against the coronavirus as a protest against public health protections.

Notice of the new policy was spelled out in two messages taped to the windows of Basilico’s Pasta e Vino Italian restaurant. “We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity,” read one.

Customers won’t actually have to produce proof they’re unvaccinated, since the only official documentation is for people who have gotten their shots, an employee told the Los Angeles Times.

Basilico’s owner, Tony Roman, told the newspaper in an email that he was fighting “tyrants.”

“With warning signs of another impending lockdown, and many business owners again emboldening those who I refer to as ‘the lockdown tiny tyrants’ — this time by imposing proof-of-vaccination policies — we chose to fire another missile of defiance to further make our point in defense of American liberty and freedom,” Roman said.

The highly transmissible delta variant has sent cases of COVID-19 sharply up across the nation. A Mayo Clinic doctor warned last week that delta will “find everybody not immune.” Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the new wave the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Over the last week, California has reported an average of nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases a day, more than quadruple the number from a month ago, according to the LA Times. 

Some businesses in the state are reimposing mask requirements. California is requiring vaccinations or weekly tests for all state employees and some health care workers by early August.

About 55% of people in Orange County, where Basilico’s is located, have been fully vaccinated. They’ll be welcome at lots of other restaurants.

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