Yelp will be adding a new feature that will let businesses such as restaurants and bars list if they require customers to show proof of vaccination before being served.
The news feature also includes a label that will say if the establishment's employees have been fully vaccinated. Users can filter the attributes in the app's search results.
Yelp to Allow Businesses to List Vaccination Requirements
Yelp wrote in a blog post on Aug. 5 that a number of businesses are implementing new safety measures as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to spread. It is a way for the establishments to protect their employees and their customers.
Some bars and restaurants across the United States are beginning to ask customers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination before entering.
However, this move was met with backlash from anti-vaxxers, according to The Verge.
The anti-vaxxers retaliated by review-bombing restaurants and bars on the app, even if they have never visited the place before.
Yelp stated that the app's Content Guidelines require that all reviews are based on a customer's experience but in the past few weeks, there has been an increase in reviews focused on the customer's stance on vaccinations instead of their experience with the business.
The company added that it is currently monitoring the pages with vaccination labels. The company will be deleting review bombs, including those that criticize the business's vaccination policies.
Yelp is known to be strict about the validity of its reviews after the company won a lawsuit in 2015 when it was accused of allowing misleading reviews.
The company will also add an "unusual activity alert" if it sees an increase in internet traffic on a page. The moderators will temporarily disable the comment section of the page and investigate each review.
Once the activity on the page has decreased or stopped, the moderators will clean up the page so only the comments from customers with first-hand experiences can be seen.
The removal of the alert can take a few days or weeks, depending on the severity of the comments.
Businesses can add the "All staff are fully vaccinated" and "Proof of vaccination required" tags to their pages. They can also add "Mask required" and "Staff wears masks" to their pages.
Aside from indicating if they need proof of vaccination from customers, businesses can also list their COVID-19 safety protocols, according to CNET.
Last month, Yelp launched a COVID-19 section on each page. The section aims to help businesses list their plan on keeping their employees and customers safe amid the continuous spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The section includes details on the health and safety measures a business is taking and whether that business has options for outdoor seating, dine-in, delivery, curbside pickup, virtual services, or in-person visits.
Businesses can also let customers know if they require social distancing, spaces between customers or if their employees wear gloves and masks while on duty. They can also indicate if they sanitize the tables and chairs before allowing customers inside.
As for customers, they can filter the search on Yelp to know how much the service costs and which restaurants require temperature checks and masks.
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Written by Sophie Webster