As New York City is poised to implement the most aggressive vaccine requirement in the country, protests against the mandate have ramped up and several people were arrested at a Cheesecake Factory.
The NYPD said protesters entered the restaurant chain in Queens Center Mall on Tuesday night. They refused to provide proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and refused to leave when asked by workers. Seven men were taken into police custody for trespassing, according to police.
Protesters arranged another sit-in at the same Cheesecake Factory on Wednesday but there were no words of more arrests.
In a statement posted on Twitter, The Cheesecake Factory said the events that took place were "unfortunate."
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"The health and safety of our staff members and guests is our top priority and we are complying with the local ordinance concerning Covid-19 vaccine requirements," the company wrote and posted a link to the state of New York's website about frequently asked questions on vaccine and mask requirements for businesses.
The city's requirement for indoor diners, gymgoers and people looking to enjoy entertainment to be vaccinated with at least one dose has been in place since September, with exceptions for kids under 12. But as of Tuesday, kids age 5-11 have to prove at least dose and those 12 and older must provide proof of two shots (except those who got Johnson & Johnson) starting Dec. 27.