Effective August 2, all indoor guests of City Winery in eight cities will need to provide proof of vaccination or show a negative COVID test result that was taken within the previous 72 hours. Guests also must wear masks while moving through indoor spaces. Diners who elect to sit in the outdoor dining areas, which are apart from the concert experience, will be required to wear a mask only while walking through enclosed areas.
Earlier protocols will be enforced again at all venues. Arriving customers will submit to a temperature check and a health questionnaire. All City Winery staff will be masked and are required to be vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of their shift. Masked staff will maintain ongoing and frequent sanitization of door handles, tables, chairs, restrooms, and surfaces.
City Winery NYC has been a leader among music venues in the vax-only movement since shortly after opening in October 2020 to limited capacity and socially-distant table settings. By November, the newly-relocated venue instituted a pilot program that not only required proof of vaccination of its diners on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which were not concert nights, but also provided a rapid test onsite for a fee. City Winery NYC closed in the winter when the state governments banned indoor dining again, yet the venue continued to offer a free COVID-19 test with the purchase of a case of wine as a holiday promotion. The New York City venue became a COVID-free zone every afternoon and evening shortly after reopening in April 2021.
In recent weeks, City Winery sent a survey to its mailing lists. The results informed the new mandates universally. The COVID-free environment of the New York City venue now will be expanded to City Winery venues in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hudson Valley, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.
City Winery NYC is the flagship of the multi-city franchise, originating in TriBeCa in 2008 and relocating to Pier 57 of Hudson River Park in the Meatpacking District in 2020. The newer 32,000-square-foot complex consists of numerous dining areas, both indoor and outdoor. The largest area is the main room, which features live entertainment almost nightly. The site also has a smaller performance space called the Loft on the second floor.
An Open Letter to Patrons
City Winery founder and CEO Michael Dorf posted the following open letter on the City Winery website on July 29.
Dear City Winery Friends and Family,
In these very challenging times of reopening, we are carefully balancing the safety of our customers, staff and performing artists with the issues of privacy and freedom which we in our democracy cherish. Our number one mission is to create a safe, comfortable, and ideal setting for our dining guests, our artists and those attending live performances of music, comedy, or any art on our stage. We care about the lighting, the air-conditioning, the sightlines, the exits for egress, the fire suppression systems, the quality of the food, the service; everything that goes into making the customer experience as magical as possible. We want people to feel comfortable.
At this stage in the pandemic, with the Delta variant on the rise, the remarkable roll-out of vaccines, and the overwhelming numbers of our customers now fully inoculated against COVID-19, we can create an environment that is as safe as possible moving forward. Our recent July survey indicated that more than 75% of our patrons are already vaccinated. This is very good news.
Given this, our decision to move forward with creating an environment where we request that all patrons are vaccinated, and wear masks when moving indoors, will allow even more psychological comfort that our facility is as safe a place to be as possible. Of course, we respect that if a person does not want to get vaccinated for any reason, be it religious, health or other, they can get tested showing a negative result within 72 hours to gain admission. All guests are welcome on our outdoor patios, however masks will be required when entering the building.
We will be trying to make it as easy, seamless, and friction-free as possible. You may present a physical or smartphone copy of your vaccine card. In New York, we accept the Excelsior Pass. Hopefully, this temporary system will facilitate the end of this pandemic and horrible bit of history for our world. It has been devastating for so many, including us in the live performance world. Accommodating this policy, leaving all politics out of it, will allow artists to earn a living again, our staff to be employed, and the arts to have a place in our society again. Your cooperation will help us to not go back to limited capacity or worse, that tragic state of closing our facilities again.
Michael Dorf & City Winery
The Health Questionnaire
At all City Winery locations, staff will take the temperature of arriving customers and conduct a health survey. To gain admittance, customers must answer “No” to the following questions:
In the past 14 days, have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been asked to quarantine?
In the past 10 days, have you had new or worsening symptoms such as a fever, shortness of breath, persistent cough, sinus congestion or runny nose (not attributed to allergies), loss of taste/smell, headache, sore throat, severe muscle aches, fatigue, or nausea/ vomiting/diarrhea?
In the past 14 days, have you had close contact or high-risk exposure to someone with an active or suspected case of COVID-19? This includes being less than 6’ away for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period or direct contact with mucus or saliva.
In the past 10 days, have you been asked to get a COVID-19 test due to symptoms or risk of exposure and are still waiting for the results or received an inconclusive result?
If you had a severe case of COVID-19, are you within 20 days of your last symptom?
By attending a City Winery event, customers certify, represent and warrant as follows:
I have received a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 12 months.
I have received a negative diagnostic test result for COVID-19 using a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or DOH authorized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs) of comparable analytical sensitivity performance that was performed on a specimen (e.g., swab) collected within 72 hours of the performance/event start time.
I have proof of a negative test result for COVID-19 from an FDA- authorized antigen test within 6 hours of the performance/event.
Updates for Ticket-Holders
The following frequently asked questions and answers are posted on the City Winery website.
How will this work?
We will be trying to make it as easy, seamless, and friction-free as possible. You may present a physical or smartphone copy of your vaccine card or a negative from a health care provider. Hopefully, this temporary system will facilitate the end of this pandemic and horrible bit of history for our world. It has been devastating for so many, including us in the live performance world. Accommodating this policy, leaving all politics out of it, will allow artists to earn a living again, our staff to be employed, and the arts to have a place in our society again. Your cooperation will help us to not go back to limited capacity or worse, that tragic state of closing our facilities again.
How long will this policy last?
We are hopeful that this temporary policy will not be needed in the future as things continue to improve. The admission policy will remain depending on local health official recommendations and on infection rates going forward.
Where can I get a Covid test or vaccination prior to the event?
To find a vaccination location near you, please visit www.vaccinefinder.org. Your healthcare provider or any local area testing facility nearby such as Walgreens or CVS.
Do children need to have a Covid test to attend with their parents?
Yes, children will need a negative COVID-19 test result to attend any indoor City Winery event. For patrons who are not fully vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained within 72 hours.
I am immunocompromised and unable to get the vaccine. Can I still attend?
Absolutely, while we encourage everyone to get vaccinated, if possible, we also understand that under circumstances, some will not be able and offer the option of a negative Covid test within 72 hours to attend.
I bought a ticket and have now tested positive for Covid. Can I have a refund?