BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some local businesses are taking the new mask mandate a step further and requiring proof of vaccination before customers walk through the door.

But the decision didn’t come easy, said Zack Mills, Executive Chef at True Chesapeake Oyster Co. in Hampden.

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“We just felt like it was the right thing to do,” Mills said Tuesday in an interview with WJZ.

Beginning August 18, the restaurant will require proof of vaccination in order to dine there. Mills acknowledged he knows this requirement will cause the company to lose customers but he said their hope is more people will feel more comfortable coming in.

Since True Chesapeake made their announcement Tuesday, they said their reservations have increased. And their new requirement doesn’t stop at the customers, they’re asking the same of their employees.

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“Our staff is fully vaccinated and we did lose a couple of staff members because of requiring vaccination of our staff but we also encouraged a couple of people,” Mills said.

At the indie-rock club, Ottobar, they’re doing the same thing, hoping this will prevent things from getting worse.

Another venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland said Tuesday they’ll be requiring proof of full vaccination or a negative test from the past 72 hours will be needed to see a show starting Sunday.

But city residents who spoke to WJZ Tuesday said they believe this is staking everything a step too far.

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“It’s just too much, it’s invasive,” said one Baltimore City resident while another concurred and added, “you shouldn’t have to show a vaccine to get into anywhere to eat, and I shouldn’t have to tell you, that’s my personal business.”

Annie Rose Ramos