Highland Park vaccine mandate extended, requiring proof of vaccination at restaurants

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- The city council in north suburban Highland Park voted to extend an emergency order on their proof of vaccination mandate Monday.

The mandate requires people to show proof of their COVID vaccinations to dine-in at restaurants.

Highland Park will keep the order in place until February 14, when it will be discussed at the next City Council meeting.

Members of the public, as well as council members, spoke at the virtual meeting Monday night in favor and in opposition of the order.

The vote was five "yes" and two "no."

Dozens rallied outside the Walker Brothers restaurant over the weekend in protest of the mandate.

RELATED: 'It's about control': Vaccine mandate protest rallies against proof of vaccination in Highland Park

One organizer of the rally said the mandate is hurting area restaurants, while others who support proof of vaccination said it makes them feel safer.

"I talked to the owners and I saw the empty dining rooms, and prior to the mandate these dining rooms were not empty. That's all the data I need," said protest organizer Susie Wahl, although said she does have proof of her vaccination status.

"Matter a fact, I go to restaurants now because I know everyone is vaccinated," said Ethan Bergoff, a supporter of the restaurant mandate. "I didn't go before because I didn't know who the people next to me were."

Under an emergency order by the mayor, the restaurant mandate has been in place since Highland Park's City Council voted on it at a special meeting Dec. 29.
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