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Yelp will soon let people search for businesses by COVID vaccine policies

Customers will soon be able to see on Yelp if a restaurant or business requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination and if their staff is fully vaccinated.

WASHINGTON — Yelp has announced that it's adding new ways for restaurants and other businesses to notify customers ahead of time about their COVID-19 vaccine policies. 

The reviews site will let businesses add descriptions on their pages for "Proof of vaccination required" and for "All staff fully vaccinated."

The company says users will be able to search by those policies when looking up businesses on the site. 

Yelp said it'll be "proactively monitoring" businesses that activate those descriptions to "help protect businesses that may experience backlash for their vaccination policies." 

Earlier this week, New York City became the first major city to announce it would require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone who wants to dine indoors at restaurants, see a show or go to the gym. 

During a Tuesday news conference, President Joe Biden said he supported New York City’s move and said other cities need to give “the authority to those restaurants or businesses to say: ‘In order to come in, you have to give proof that you’re either vaccinated or you can’t come in.’”

The move comes as the more contagious delta variant ranges across the country, sending new U.S. cases surging to 94,000 a day on average, a level not seen since mid-February.  

The White House COVID-19 Response Team highlighted Yelp's new vaccine policy feature during Thursday's press briefing.  

Yelp said it will be working to combat "review bombing," which is when people post reviews based on a business's particular stance on an issue, rather than a first-hand customer experience. The company said since January its removed nearly 4,500 reviews for violating content policies. 

Credit: Yelp
Yelp has added a feature for businesses to not if they require vaccine proof or require their staff to be fully vaccinated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.