ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In an effort to curb the rise in COVID cases, one popular Albuquerque bar and music venue is requiring customers to show proof they’re vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19. Sister Bar located in the heart of downtown is one of the only businesses KRQE News 13 knows of that is making these types of requirements. The owner wants to make clear that the policy only applies to concerts. 

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“I believe we’re the first music venue to implement anything of this sort in New Mexico,” said Jesus Zamora, the owner of Sister Bar. “We’re really just trying to do our part and be considerate of our health care system.”

Zamora started a new policy over the weekend for concerts at his business which are at full capacity of about 360 people. His staff will be at the door requiring customers to show a vaccination card, a photo of the card, or a negative test taken less than 48 hours before the show. “Anything that we can do to kind of take care of our fellow citizens here in Albuquerque, we’re game,” said Zamora. 

It was just on Friday that the governor and other state and local officials signed an open letter encouraging businesses to set vaccination policies for their workers and even their customers. Sister Bar’s new change has received mixed reviews. 

“We are at the end of the day getting out of a pandemic and there are a lot of unknowns still so just to be safe I think businesses are doing what they can to take care of their patrons and I think sister is no different,” said Shahnit Shahzad.  

“It kind of sucks, it used to be a fun place, and now that we have to show that we’re vaccinated, which I’m totally against, it sucks even more,” said Joey Pena.

Still, Zamora stands by the change and hopes people will be considerate of others whether they’re vaccinated or not. “We’re coming off a really tough year, we’re ravaged financially and emotionally and I feel lucky to just still be here,” said Zamora. “But in the same regard, I’m going to keep trying to do what I feel is best for our community.”

Zamora said this vaccination policy will be in place for concerts for the foreseeable future. Sister Bar isn’t the only business in town implementing a new vaccination policy. “Happy Accidents” in Nob Hill said on social media it’s only letting vaccinated people sit at the bar where they prepare food and drinks.