King County, Washington, which includes the city of Seattle, has issued a public health order requiring verification of full vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter certain indoor and outdoor activities and establishments.
The order, which goes into effect October 25, will apply to outdoor events with 500 or more people; indoor entertainment and recreational events or establishments such as museums, theaters, and gyms; as well as restaurants and bars. This does not apply to outdoor dining, take-out customers, and places that aren’t primarily used as a restaurant, such as grocery stores.
The order gives the option for a longer preparation period for smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or less, with an implementation date of December 6. The entire order is not expected to be permanent. It will be reviewed no later than six months after the October 25th implementation date to assess its continued need based on future outbreak conditions.
“We are at a critical point in this pandemic, with high levels of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and no certainty as to what will follow the Delta variant,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine, in a statement. “Vaccination is our best shield against this deadly virus. With over 85 percent of King County residents having received at least their first vaccine dose, vaccine verification will help keep people safe and keep businesses open.”