Coronavirus

The Middle East club in Cambridge to require proof of vaccination for entry

"We will be following the numbers and information out there and hope this is not a long term policy, but for now, it feels like the right thing to do."

The Middle East in Cambridge's Central Square in 2020. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

A Cambridge club has joined a growing number of businesses requiring proof of vaccination.

The Middle East, a popular club and music venue, announced Tuesday that it will require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for entry to shows and the restaurant. COVID cases have been increasing for several weeks, and more and more breakthrough cases have been reported. In a Facebook post, the venue noted the spread of the Delta variant as a deciding factor.

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“We will be following the numbers and information out there and hope this is not a long term policy, but for now, it feels like the right thing to do,” the post read. “Either the card itself or a picture of it will be sufficient proof. We are doing this out of an abundance of caution and to protect you, your family, friends, patrons, and musicians who come here to perform.”

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The Middle East is offering refunds to anyone unable to attend shows in July or August.

“We have all suffered enough and we hope you choose to get vaccinated if you have not already,” they wrote.

The Middle East is not alone in taking this step. According to Boston Eater, three other Cambridge restaurants are requiring proof of vaccination in some capacity: Grendel’s Den, Pagu, and The Plough and Stars. Several Provincetown restaurants and clubs also require proof of vaccination.

“As small business operators we have a civic duty to take care of the health and safety of our guests and employees alike,” Tracy Chang, Pagu chef and owner, told Eater. “The past year has taught us just how vulnerable are the lives of essential hospitality workers, just how broken the existing hospitality industry is when it comes to wages, benefits, and welfare. …We now have an opportunity to rebuild the industry to be a better, stronger one, starting one restaurant at a time. The least we can do is pay people more, check for proof of full vaccination, take temperatures at the door, and require masks indoors when not eating/drinking.”

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