King County’s New Vaccine Verification Requirements

Beginning October 25, all King County residents ages 12 and over will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter the following places of business:

Restaurants and Bars

Includes indoor dining. This does not apply to outdoor dining, take-out customers, and places that aren’t primarily used as indoor dining locations, such as grocery stores. The order gives the option for a longer preparation period for smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or less, with an implementation date of December 6.

Indoor recreational events or establishments

Such as professional and collegiate sports, performing arts and live music venues, movie theaters, gyms, conferences, and conventions

Outdoor events with 500 people or more

Such as professional and collegiate sports and entertainment events.

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce believes that COVID is a community problem that requires a community solution. We are concerned that King County’s new “proof of vaccination” creates different standards for different types of eating places and business sectors. The focus on the hospitality industry — which has been one of the most impacted by changing COVID restrictions — and being used as a ‘carrot-and-stick’ for people in King County who have been unwilling to be vaccinated is less than fair and equitable public policy. We urge all customers to please be kind to all hospitality staff as work continues to stop the spread of COVID.

Below are key details of the new King County policy:

  • Hospitality guests 12 years of age and older will be required to show proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test (within the last 72 hours), or a negative COVID-19 rapid test result performed on site by a testing provider to enter restaurants, bars, gyms and large sporting venues.
  • This requirement will not apply to guests staying in hotels but will apply to patrons dining in the hotel restaurant.
  • Proof of ID is not required, although operators may require ID as part of their guest policy.
  • It will not require, but strongly recommends, employers to adopt a mandatory vaccine policy for their employees.
    • Employers with 100 or more employees may be impacted by a new worker vaccine requirement being developed by the Biden administration.
  • The vaccine requirement only applies to indoor service. Unvaccinated guests may continue to receive outdoor and take-out service.
  • Existing mask requirements remain unchanged.
  • Acceptable forms of vaccination proof include:
    • CDC COVID-19 vaccine record card or photo of vaccine card
    • Printed certificate or QR code from
  • Smaller restaurants will be given more time to comply. Restaurants with a seating capacity of 12 people or fewer will need to verify vaccination status of guests starting Dec. 6.

Like with other previous public health mandates, the burden will be on businesses to verify vaccination status. Clear and consistent communication with guests & patrons as soon as possible about the new policy will be important for successful implementation. King County encourages the posting of signs about this new policy for guests/patrons/clients. Check out the many options you can download from  coronavirus signage library from the Washington Hospitality Association.

Learn more about the #VaxVerification policy at