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Philadelphia's Proof Of Vaccine Mandate For Indoor Dining, Sporting Events Goes Into Effect Monday

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- New COVID-19 rules are now in effect in Philadelphia. You will need to show proof of vaccination if you want to dine indoors.

This latest regulation imposed by the city is aimed at putting COVID-19 behind us.

If you are heading to a restaurant, a bar, a movie theater or bowling alley in the city limits you'll need to prove you've been vaccinated. This also includes the Wells Fargo Center.

Monday night's Sixers-Rockets game at the Wells Fargo Center was the biggest event in the city since the mandate went into effect. Fans seemed to be taking it in stride.

"I agree with it. I mean, we gotta start taking care of ourselves because it starts with us. We gotta make sure that we're vaccinated so we don't pass it on to somebody else. And if everybody's vaccinated nobody will be able to get too sick," one fan said.

Wells Fargo Center staff members point out to CBS3 they've already hosted several concerts where vaccine proof was necessary.

They said the additional lawyer of scrutiny went smoothly.

Of course, the Sixers are known to draw an at-capacity crowd. Extra workers have been added to get this screening done as efficiently as possible.

Proof of vaccines will be checked before you head through the security checkpoint.

Wells Fargo Center General Manager Phil Laws said he understands this can be an added level of frustration for people trying to get into the game.

"If you're familiar with the process of coming in, you'll find the vaccination check will happen just before that security screening. So it will really be the first thing that you encounter as you come into the arena. Do not let it dissuade you from coming out and seeing an event here at the Wells Fargo Center. We'll get you in. Come a bit early if you can but there's plenty of things to distract you once you're inside the arena and having a good time."

Meanwhile, opinions on the mandate were mixed.

At Rittenhouse Square mainstay Rouge, asking for proof of vaccination is a practice they'd already employed with little resistance.

"It's only been for the better for us. I can't say there's been a lot of people that have been turned away," one man said.

Unfortunately, at John's Place in Fairmount, resistance is exactly why this new mandate is frowned upon.

"They're asking us to be doctors and stuff instead of focusing on our business. It's already hard enough to have a business with all the regulations they put us through. We're too worried about trying to make ends meet the way it is with everything that we're following, protocols," said Anthony Kosmatos with John's Place.

"I feel pretty good about it. It don't bother me at all. It's a smart decision," Walter Buchanan said.

"I think it's really good like it's mandatory, you know? It needs to be done in order to bring the rate down," Teresa Cuscis said.

Back at the Wells Fargo Center, there was a bit of levity about the situation, if you will, from a college student in favor of the mandate for health reasons and more.

"In Joel Embiid's arms, we're always safe," he said.

For two weeks, restaurants and bars can accept a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours. After two weeks, that will end and only proof of vaccination will be accepted.

CBS3's Joe Holden and Siafa Lewis contributed to this report.

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