Businesses in French Quarter getting ready to enforce vaccine mandate for customers

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Over at Felix’s Restaurant & Bar in the French Quarter they are meeting all their daily challenges head on.

“We will follow protocol that our Mayor tells us we need to, but it will definitely set up some challenges,” Neal Swidler at Felix’s said.

Their latest challenge—starting Monday all guests at bars and restaurants must prove they are vaccinated or prove they tested negative for COVID in the last 72 hours.

“It is the people who don’t have it who are disappointed or angry that they can’t eat,” Swidler said.

In order to enforce it, it will pose some strain on their staff.

“We only have a 300 lbs. bouncer and the other girl 105 lbs. So that’s tougher. They are hostesses and they aren’t trained in what you need to filter through,” he said.

With the French Quarter already being violent, especially lately this could cause more problems. In the last two weeks, there have been 10 people shot on two weekends. Businesses feel that the crime issue is an important issue that needs to be addresssed as well.

“There are bigger issues, but people still love this place,” he said.

Folks like Kesha Pearson and Gloria Paige from Alabama love New Orleans, so they wanted to come here for a Girl’s Trip despite the crime problem and stricter COVID restrictions.

Still businesses know the struggle all too well, but feel it’ll all be worth it.

“New Orleans has a fighting party spirit. People we will get through this. This is just one speed bump on the COVID road. New Orleans is forever,” Swidler said.

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