Sarah Palin dined at a New York City restaurant frequented by celebrities two days before she tested positive for Covid-19, according to the management.
According to city Covid regulations, patrons must produce proof of vaccination before being able to eat inside New York City eateries.
But, according to manager Luca Guaitolini, no one examined Palin, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, for proof of immunization Saturday night at Elio’s, a prominent Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
“We are taking this isolated incident — and unfortunate oversight —very seriously,” Guaitolini said in a statement Monday. “Elio’s adheres to and believes in the vaccine mandate, and all it is doing to protect our staff, regulars, and the dining public.”
Guaitolini said he wasn’t working Saturday night and that the restaurant is reaching out to other customers who were dining at Elio’s while Palin was there with a “regular,” whom he declined to identify.
“My focus right now is on the safety of my staff who worked the floor that night, and on our guests,” Guaitolini said in his statement.
Palin is in New York City to face The New York Times in a defamation trial.
Just before her hearing was set to begin Monday, presiding judge Jed Rakoff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York stated that “Ms. Palin had tested positive for coronavirus.”
“She is, of course, unvaccinated,” Rakoff added.
A City Hall statement took Palin to the task.
“The key to NYC rules were put in place to protect all New Yorkers — including the small businesses that power our city’s economy,” it said. “Ms. Palin needs to respect small business workers and follow the rules just like everyone else.”
Palin’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment on Monday evening.
In April, Palin and members of her family were found to be positive for Covid-19. She encouraged people to maintain their social distance and masks at the time.
The eatery “just made a mistake” by not checking for Palin’s immunization card, Guaitolini told The Times.
Palin had been with a longtime guest, according to Guaitolini, who said the restaurant checks immunization cards for all first-time customers but not for regulars.
As per Yahoo, the city guidelines define what constitutes proof of vaccination and advise restaurant owners to “have a system in place for controlling crowding at your front door” by asking consumers specific questions to weed out possibly unhealthy customers.
According to officials, Elio’s is one of the 25,000 small businesses that city inspectors have visited and verified to be in compliance with Covid rules.