Outside a restaurant in New York earlier this month. It seems not everyone is onboard with the city’s vaccine mandate.
Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

In theory, every single person over the age of five needs to be fully vaccinated to enter a restaurant in New York City. In practice, it’s up to restaurants to enforce these rules, and recent news suggests the regulations are not always taken as seriously as they should be. For example: Over the weekend, Sarah Palin, who has been unequivocal in her opposition to any vaccination efforts, was spotted inside Elio’s, “a fine-dining restaurant serving classic Italian dishes on the Upper East Side of NYC since 1981.” A manager for the restaurant, which is popular with celebrities and other public figures, has said they made “a mistake” and that his team is trying to figure out what happened. Meanwhile, Palin tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, which is not ideal news for the other people who chose to dine at Elio’s on the same night she did. But: What should you do if you know that a person who has chosen not to receive the vaccine walks into the same restaurant where you’re eating? You have questions; Grub Street has answers.

Help! A famous person walked into the restaurant where I had dinner over the weekend and I’m pretty sure they’re not vaccinated.
How do you know that?

Well, what if I told you that last month the person gave a speech and said, “It’ll be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot … I will not do that. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids either”?
Grub Street agrees that it does not sound promising. But if you’re in New York City, local regulations require all customers inside restaurants to be fully vaccinated.

Well, what if I told you that a manager from the restaurant in question told the New York Times that their staff doesn’t check the vaccination status of all its guests?
Again, that sounds bad.

The good news is that, on an emotional level, I’m personally “done with COVID.” Can I still contract it?

So I have COVID?
Not necessarily. The person you’re worried about might not have it, right?

They definitely have it.
How do you know?

They tested positive three times.
You probably have it. Are you vaccinated?

I’m not here to talk about myself. Let’s not worry about whether I “did” or “did not” get a shot.
Oh no. Have you taken a test?

I went to Duane Reade but they were sold out. I saw a van for a PCR test but the line looked long and I didn’t want to wait.
Seems irresponsible. Are you going to quarantine?

Yes. As soon as I finish this grocery shopping, I’m going to head right home!
Wait. You’re out right now?

I need to get a few things! I want to try these New York Times French-bread pizza recipes for a dinner party I’m throwing tonight. We’ve all been through so much, and it seems like such a fun, kitschy way to relax! We all deserve a little self-care right now.
Hold on …

I’ll be honest: I feel great. I haven’t been able to taste anything since yesterday, but other than that, I’m fantastic. I’m sure I’m fine.
You seem not fine.

Whose side are you on? Besides, if I have it, that means I’ll be immune now! I can’t wait to stop wearing these silly masks!
That’s not how it works.

I’m pretty sure it is.
Consider this: A famous public figure who tested positive for COVID-19 this week also had a case of it last March, which means that she, anyway, has contracted it at least twice in less than a year.

Oh, that’s not good.
No, it’s not.

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