State Watch

New York City won’t investigate restaurant that admitted Palin without asking for vaccination proof

New York City will not investigate Elio’s, the popular Italian restaurant on the city’s Upper East Side that allowed former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to dine inside last week, despite the fact that the restaurant did not ask for her proof of vaccination.

The city requires proof of vaccination for people wishing to enter arenas, restaurants and theaters, among other indoor venues. 

However, a New York City Hall spokesperson told The Hill on Tuesday that the city does not look into past incidents. 

“The City does not investigate past occurrences, so it cannot issue a violation in this case for the incident involving Ms. Palin. If a future inspection is found to be noncompliant, the restaurant will be subject to the same corrective action as any other business not complying with Key to NYC,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The city’s position not to investigate Elio’s was first reported by The New York Times. 

The owner of Elio’s, Anne Isaak, told the Times that “I am trying to show some empathy for the one employee who may have been lax for whatever reason,” noting that the restaurant’s COVID-19 protocol would not be changing as a result of the incident.

The popular Italian restaurant last week allowed the former Alaska governor to dine inside without asking to check her proof of vaccination. Palin, who is unvaccinated, had been in New York City for a defamation lawsuit she filed against The New York Times, the newspaper noted.

She tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the trial, which has since been postponed to early February. 

The manager of Elio’s, Luca Guaitolini, told the Times that while the restaurant checks the vaccination status of first-time diners, they do not do the same for regular guests like the one he said Palin was dining with. However, Guaitolini acknowledged that the restaurant had made a mistake. 

— Updated at 4:41 p.m.

Tags covid-19 restrictions New York City Sarah Palin The New York Times

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