Proof of Vaccination Increasingly Common at Businesses

Many businesses now require all guests to show proof of vaccination in accordance with state and city guidelines. Photo from istockphoto

Your all-access pass to restaurants, clubs, and other businesses may not be your ID showing your age, or a cover charge, but rather your proof of vaccination. Businesses in Denver have a choice: require masks or vaccinations, and the list of businesses requiring their staff and customers to be vaccinated is growing quickly. 

Some larger businesses don’t have a choice. Larger venues who have 500 or more guests unseated must require vaccinations for guests. In North Denver, that includes the Oriental Theater off of Tennyson Street. Scott Happel, one of the owners of the Oriental, told The Denver North Star that they have security checking vaccine status before people enter and that their staff is 100% vaccinated and boosted. That requirement cost them one employee, but “that was a choice they made…everyone else who works [here] is happy and feels better coming to work.”

Happel said some businesses may skirt the order, not requiring vaccines for events just under 500 and requiring them for those over, but they felt strict adherence was what the community wanted to see too. “The majority of the response has been great,” explained Happel, adding that there’s always outliers on the internet who complain, but they generally aren’t from the community or actual customers anyway, rather people who complain about everything online. Mostly, he hears from community members who say they wouldn’t come out if they didn’t have that requirement and that their guests support the vaccine check.

Smaller businesses have a choice: enforce a mask requirement or check for vaccines, and increasingly they are opting to require customers to be vaccinated. In order to meet the requirement, a business must attest that at least 95% of people in their building are vaccinated, what they call a “fully vaccinated facility.” The City and County of Denver is now tracking those businesses, and a full list of businesses requiring vaccinations is available online. 

In North Denver, restaurants including El Jefe on 44th Avenue, Highland Tavern on Navajo, Lady Jane on 32nd, and Mythology Distillery on Tejon are only a few of the approximately 550 businesses now requiring vaccines according to a list maintained by the city. That number is growing as more businesses become fully vaccinated facilities. 

Businesses requiring vaccinations are across the spectrum, though gyms, yoga studios, and other fitness related businesses are increasingly listed, allowing guests to work out without a mask.

A list of fully vaccinated businesses is available on the city’s website at

The city is updating the list frequently.


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