By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business
Businesses across the United States are rolling out new vaccine policies for their employees, but there’s still a critical part of the equation that needs to be addressed: customers.
And that challenge is acute in places like New York City, which was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, forcing widespread shutdowns that crippled many businesses. Here’s a look at some of the companies there that are adjusting their protocols to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination from their clients.
All Equinox employees and members will be required to show proof of vaccination, the luxury fitness company announced Monday. Employees and members will be asked to share their vaccination status prior to entering all Equinox New York City clubs and corporate offices beginning in early September. “Proof of vaccination will be integrated into the system so that a member only needs to display it once,” a spokesperson for Equinox told CNN Business. The company said it plans to introduce similar policies in all of its markets and will continue to follow all current local health guidelines. For those who require medical or religious accommodations, the Equinox Group said it will work with members and employees accordingly. In a survey, the company found that 96% of members and 89% of employees reported that they have been vaccinated.
SoulCycle, a chain of cycling studios owned by Equinox, will require all of its customers to show proof of vaccination before attending a cycling class. The company consulted with infectious disease experts before making this decision, according to a press release. “There is certainly business risk that we will lose some members or riders,” Harvey Spevak, managing partner and executive chairman at Equinox Group, told CNN Business. “But we’re confident that we will continue to serve [those] who want to be with us. There will be new ones who will join or start riding with us because they want to go to a club or studio where they will be safe or well protected.”
Morgan Stanley is banning all unvaccinated staff and clients from entering its New York City headquarters. All employees who work in buildings with a “large employee presence” were required to confirm their vaccination status by July 1, according to a company memo. The bank’s CEO, James Gorman, is taking a hard line on vaccinations. “If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office,” he said earlier this summer. “And we want you in the office.”
The owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City, which are expected to reopen this fall, will require audience members, performers and staff to be vaccinated for all performances at least through the end of October. Masks will also be required for audiences inside theaters, except when they are eating or drinking in designated areas, according to a press release.
Union Square Hospitality Group
At Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants and event businesses in New York and other US cities, all employees and customers must be able to prove they’re vaccinated — a rule that will go into effect September 7. “If you really want to go unvaccinated, you can dine somewhere else,” CEO Danny Meyer told CNN’s Poppy Harlow last month. “And you can also go work somewhere else.”
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CNN’s Lisa Respers France contributed to this report.