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MANHATTAN — If eating out at New York City restaurants wasn’t already different enough during the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses are going through another change: beefed-up security.

With Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Key to NYC Pass” vaccine mandate in effect, restaurant staff are now required to ask customers 12-years-of-age and older for proof of vaccination if they want to dine-in. 

Some restaurants are adding or considering hiring security guards to protect staff as they carry out this new task.

This comes after a hostess at the popular Carmine’s restaurant in Manhattan’s Upper West Side was attacked by three customers from Texas when, according to police, the hostess asked them to show whether or not they were vaccinated. The assault landed the hostess in the hospital, and the three customers in jail.

Other restaurant workers told PIX 11 they’ve had people scream in their faces when questioned about vaccination status.

New York City restaurants that don’t comply with the vaccine checks can be fined $1000 or more. 

Officials said city inspectors have gone around to more than 5,000 restaurants throughout the boroughs since the mandate began Monday to ensure compliance. 

More than 2,000 of the restaurants were caught not enforcing the vaccination requirement. At this point, city officials said they’re only giving out warnings, but those warnings will turn into hefty fines if restaurant owners don’t start complying.

Meanwhile, some city leaders are calling for the fines and penalties to be increased on anyone convicted of assaulting a restaurant worker just trying to do their job by asking about vaccination status.