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Businesses Offer Perks to Vaccinated Customers

At Fort Bragg, soldiers who have gotten their coronavirus vaccines can go to a gym where no masks are required, with no limits on who can work out together. Treadmills are on and zipping, unlike those in 13 other gyms where unvaccinated troops can’t use the machines, everyone must mask up and restrictions remain on how many can bench-press at one time.

Inside Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, where lines not long ago snaked for miles with people seeking coronavirus vaccines, a special seating area allows those who are fully inoculated to enjoy games side by side with other fans.

When Bill Duggan reopens Madam’s Organ, his legendary blues bar in Washington, D.C., people will not be allowed in to work, drink or play music unless they can prove they have had their shots. “I have a saxophone player who is among the best in the world. He was in the other day, and I said, ‘Walter, take a good look around because you’re not walking in here again unless you get vaccinated.’”

Evite and Paperless Post are seeing a big increase in hosts requesting that their guests be vaccinated.

actually doughnuts, beers and cheesecake — to prod laggards along. Some have even offered cold hard cash: In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine this week went so far as to say that the state would give five vaccinated people $1 million each as part of a weekly lottery program.

On Thursday, federal health officials offered the ultimate incentive for many when they advised that fully vaccinated Americans may stop wearing masks.

Now, private employers, restaurants and entertainment venues are looking for ways to make those who are vaccinated feel like V.I.P.s, both to protect workers and guests, and to possibly entice those not yet on board.

Come summer, the nation may become increasingly bifurcated between those who are permitted to watch sports, take classes, get their hair cut and eat barbecue with others, and those who are left behind the spike protein curtain.

for children ages 12 through 15.

But even without a mandate, a nudge can feel like a shove. The military has been strongly encouraging vaccines among the troops. Acceptance has been low in some branches, like the Marines, with only 40 percent having gotten one or more shots. At Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the country and among the first to offer the vaccine, just under 70 percent have been jabbed.

podcast designed to knock down misinformation — a common misbelief is that the vaccines affect fertility — plays around the base. In addition to their freedom gym, vaccinated soldiers may now eat in groups as they please, while the unvaccinated look on as they grab their grub and go.

With soldiers, experts “talk up to decliners versus talk down,” said Col. Joseph Buccino, a spokesman at Fort Bragg.

promoting inoculations, and stadiums have become a new line of demarcation, where vaccinated sections are highlighted as perks akin to V.I.P. skyboxes.

In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee recently announced that sporting venues and churches would be able to increase their capacity by adding sections for the vaccinated.

Some businesses — like gyms and restaurants — where the coronavirus was known to spread easily are also embracing a reward system. Even though many gyms have reopened around the country, some still haven’t allowed large classes to resume.

Others are inclined to follow the lead of gyms like solidcore in Washington, D.C., which seeks proof of inoculation to enroll in classes listed as “Vaccine Required: Full Body.” “Our teams are now actively evaluating where else we think there will be client demand and will be potentially introducing it to other markets in the weeks ahead,” said Bryan Myers, chief executive officer of the national fitness studio chain, in an email.

specific invitation designs with the inoculated in mind, vaccinated only please RSVP.

Not everyone endorses this type of exclusion as good public policy. “I worry about the operational feasibility,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. “In the U.S., we don’t yet have a standard way to prove vaccination status. I hope we’ll see by fall such low levels of infection in the U.S. that our level of concern about the virus will be very low.”

But few dispute that it is legal. “Having dedicated spaces at events reserved for vaccinated people is both lawful and ethical,” said Lawrence O. Gostin, an expert in health law at Georgetown Law School. “Businesses have a major economic incentive to create safer environments for their customers, who would otherwise be reluctant to attend crowded events. Government recommendations about vaccinated-only sections will encourage businesses and can help us back to more normal.”

so far to impose vaccine mandates for workers, especially in a tight labor market. “Our association came out in favor of masks,” said Emily Williams Knight, president of the Texas Restaurant Association. “We probably will not be taking a position on mandates, which are incredibly divisive.”

But some companies are moving that way. Norwegian Cruise Line is threatening to keep its ships out of Florida ports if the state stands by a law prohibiting businesses from requiring vaccines in exchange for services.

Public health mandates — from smoking bans to seatbelt laws to containing tuberculosis outbreaks by requiring TB patients to take their medicines while observed — have a long history in the United States.

“They fall into a cluster of things in which someone is essentially making the argument that what I do is only my business,” said Dr. Frieden, who is now chief executive of Resolve to Save Lives, a program designed to prevent epidemics and cardiovascular disease. “A lot of times that’s true, unless what you do might kill someone else.”

Dr. Frieden was the main official who pushed for a smoking ban in bars and restaurants in 2003 when he was the New York City health commissioner under former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Other senior aides at the time felt certain the ban would cost Mr. Bloomberg a second term. “When I was fighting for that, a City Council member who was against the ban said of bars, ‘That is my place of entertainment.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s someone’s place of employment.’ It did have impact.”

Mr. Duggan, the bar owner in Washington, said protecting his workers and patrons are of a piece. “As we hit a plateau with vaccines, I don’t think we can sit and wait for all the nonbelievers,” he said. “If we are going to convince them, it’s going to be through them not being able to do the things that vaccinated people are able to do.”

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Have You Satisfied Your Covid Compliance Officer?

For many in the hospitality business, assuming the role of party cop has been counterintuitive. For others, however, it has prepared them well for Covid management. Mariellynn Maurer has run the College of William & Mary’s Events and Conferences Department for almost two decades but was repositioned last summer to oversee Richmond Hall, the dormitory that acted as the isolation area for students who had tested positive. The school newspaper, The Flat Hat, dubbed her the “Quarantine Queen.”

“We’re hosting ‘guests,’ just in a bit of a different situation,” said Ms. Maurer, who organized virtual movie nights for quarantining students with boxed fresh made popcorn delivered to each door, a perk plucked from past summer conferences, and one way to make it easier to force college students to stay in a dorm room for ten days.

Back at Kaufman Astoria Studios, a crew member walked by carrying a large sheet cake for the key grip’s birthday. Dr. Dahl’s precisely plucked eyebrows rose. “They can’t eat that in there,” she said wistfully, but without remorse. They also cannot blow out candles and she will encourage clapping rather than singing. “I try to be really polite and nice about reminders, I’ll try to use humor and make a joke of it,” Dr. Dahl said. “But it’s hard to be the nag.”

But the nagging will persist for the foreseeable future, according to Dr. Adamson. “A C.C.O. position will continue for several years,” she said, depending on the prevalence in the community, “There will still be variants circulating two years from now.”

“I would be happy to not have a Covid career,” Dr. Dahl said. “It’s a bummer.” She says she jokes that people have had to pivot, “and I pivoted into a cul-de-sac.” Though her film set exposure has reignited a dormant screenwriting hobby. In addition to an ongoing project about her father, a Syrian immigrant to North Dakota who was a “low-level C.I.A. spy,” the other is percolating in real time.

“I think it would be hilarious to do a series like ‘The Office’ but based on being a Covid compliance officer,” she said. “I mean, it writes itself.”

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Covid-19 in France: Secret Dinner Parties for Elite Sets Off Outrage

PARIS — Champagne, foie gras and a “potato soup glazed with truffles” were on the menu at one of many secret elite dinner parties being held across Paris in violation of nationwide coronavirus restrictions, according to a French television report.

The report, relying on hidden camera footage and broadcast over the weekend by the channel M6, showed mask-free diners at venues such as a private mansion and a luxury restaurant. One dinner organizer initially said that several French ministers had attended the illegal parties, before backtracking on his statement.

The report set off outrage in France, with thousands of people demanding explanations on social networks, and political leaders calling for a strict application of lockdown rules. In response, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Monday that it would investigate illegal dinner parties.

The news comes amid a deep sense of fatigue and frustration over a seemingly endless cycle of coronavirus restrictions in France, which has just entered a third national lockdown intended to combat a third wave of infections.

said that, to his knowledge, no government official had participated.

The report nonetheless set off fury online on Monday. Hashtags like #OnVeutLesNoms, or #WeWantTheNames, reflected widespread anger at the notion that elites were flouting the rules that others had to follow. The issue was still trending on Twitter on Tuesday, with a new hashtag: #OnVeutLesDemissions, or #WeWantResignations.

It is not the first time that some French restaurants had secretly reopened during the pandemic in defiance of government rules. Cafes and restaurants were forced to close for much of last year and have not reopened since the second national lockdown last fall, angering many restaurant owners — and diners.

As France entered its third national lockdown on Saturday, with schools and nonessential businesses closed for a month, there is a mood of deep discontent in the country. A poll released Thursday showed that a majority of French people were skeptical about the new lockdown’s effectiveness, and almost half said they planned to flout the measures.

The interior ministry said Tuesday that more than 7,000 restaurants had been checked by the police since last October, resulting in fines for 300 owners and 1,000 customers.

But while the illegal reopening of small restaurants has often been seen as harmless resistance in the land of gastronomy, the illegal dinner parties struck a different chord, opening a window on the entrenched and clubby nature of France’s elites.

Officials flouting restrictions they impose on others has been a problem for many governments. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain came under intense pressure after a close adviser, Dominic Cummings, was found to have broken lockdown rules by traveling across the country.

testing positive for the coronavirus.

Several French government ministers have denied on television and radio shows that they had been involved in the secret dinners. If any were, Mr. Darmanin said Sunday, they should be prosecuted.

“There are not two types of citizens, with those who have the right to party and those who do not,” he said.

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Report of Secret Dinner Parties for the Elite Sets Off Outrage in France

PARIS — Champagne, foie gras and a “potato soup glazed with truffles” were on the menu at one of many secret elite dinner parties being held across Paris in violation of nationwide coronavirus restrictions, according to a French television report.

The report, relying on hidden camera footage and broadcast over the weekend by the channel M6, showed mask-free diners at venues such as a private mansion and a luxury restaurant. One dinner organizer initially said that several French ministers had attended the illegal parties, before backtracking on his statement.

The report set off outrage in France, with thousands of people demanding explanations on social networks, and political leaders calling for a strict application of lockdown rules. In response, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Monday that it would investigate illegal dinner parties.

The news comes amid a deep sense of fatigue and frustration over a seemingly endless cycle of coronavirus restrictions in France, which has just entered a third national lockdown intended to combat a third wave of infections.

said that, to his knowledge, no government official had participated.

The report nonetheless set off fury online on Monday. Hashtags like #OnVeutLesNoms, or #WeWantTheNames, reflected widespread anger at the notion that elites were flouting the rules that others had to follow. The issue was still trending on Twitter on Tuesday, with a new hashtag: #OnVeutLesDemissions, or #WeWantResignations.

It is not the first time that some French restaurants had secretly reopened during the pandemic in defiance of government rules. Cafes and restaurants were forced to close for much of last year and have not reopened since the second national lockdown last fall, angering many restaurant owners — and diners.

As France entered its third national lockdown on Saturday, with schools and nonessential businesses closed for a month, there is a mood of deep discontent in the country. A poll released Thursday showed that a majority of French people were skeptical about the new lockdown’s effectiveness, and almost half said they planned to flout the measures.

The interior ministry said Tuesday that more than 7,000 restaurants had been checked by the police since last October, resulting in fines for 300 owners and 1,000 customers.

But while the illegal reopening of small restaurants has often been seen as harmless resistance in the land of gastronomy, the illegal dinner parties struck a different chord, opening a window on the entrenched and clubby nature of France’s elites.

Officials flouting restrictions they impose on others has been a problem for many governments. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain came under intense pressure after a close adviser, Dominic Cummings, was found to have broken lockdown rules by traveling across the country.

testing positive for the coronavirus.

Several French government ministers have denied on television and radio shows that they had been involved in the secret dinners. If any were, Mr. Darmanin said Sunday, they should be prosecuted.

“There are not two types of citizens, with those who have the right to party and those who do not,” he said.

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