Business owners react to Cuomo’s suggestion that they serve vaccinated customers only

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is once again trying to reverse the growing COVID-19 positivity rate.

This time he’s calling on business owners all across the state to only permit the fully vaccinated to enter their premises. Cuomo says this will encourage more New Yorkers to go and get their COVID-19 vaccines.

It’s the strongest language used since Gov. Cuomo lifted all restrictions just over a month ago. One business owner I talked to says this brings things back to "square one".

"I think it’s good business for the private sector. I also think it provides a real incentive for people to get the vaccine," said Cuomo.

Rooney’s Restaurant owner Joe Squalli says the governor’s comments could impact his business, especially after it took time for people to once again be comfortable while dining out.

"Most likely some people, they’re just going to stay away, and they’re gonna just wait — not go out. Whether they’re vaccinated, or not," Squalli said.

Rooney’s has operated on the "honor system," letting both the unvaccinated and vaccinated dine together.

Abilene Bar and Lounge is one of a few places in Rochester that still requires its customers to be fully vaccinated before entering. Owner Danny Deutsch has kept his policy in place since May 26.

"We’re a small venue," Deutsch said. "It would be impossible for us to have a vax section, and a non-vax section."

Deutsch says his vaccination policy to enter has actually helped his business tremendously.

"People come here know that everyone in here has been vaccinated, and there’s a safety I think in that, and a good feeling about it," Deutsch said.