Basilico's Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach says it's "requiring proof" patrons aren't vaccinated.
In June, the restaurant was fined $165,520 for failing to meet California's COVID-19 regulations.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases surge in California and across the US.
An Italian eatery in California is requiring patrons to show proof of being unvaccinated and discourages masks despite a local surge in COVID-19 cases.
Basilico's Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach, California, shared a Facebook post on July 22 with photos showing two anti-vaccination signs on its windows that say: "We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity. Thank you for pondering."
"More American counties, cities, and businesses doubling down on anti-American lockdown mandates? Well 'Basilico's Pasta e Vino' just tripled down," the restaurant's Facebook post caption reads. "From day one, never complied, banned masks, and now ... requiring proof of being Un-vaccinated!"
California's COVID-19 response website currently advises unvaccinated people to wear masks in restaurants and for everyone to use them while dining indoors.
Basilico's disregard for COVID-19 prevention has not gone unnoticed by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), which issued the establishment five citations on June 17, with fines totaling $165,520 due to be paid this July.
The violations in the DIR's report range from "serious" to "willful-serious" and demonstrate a failure to provide sufficient COVID-19 protection to both employees and diners, according to the report. The DIR's inspection found that the restaurant failed to "provide face coverings and ensure they were worn by employees" indoors, according to its report.
Although Basilico's appears to be maintaining its anti-vaccination stance, according to a ProPublica database, the restaurant accepted $57,738 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding. Through the PPP, small businesses could apply for federally backed loans that would help them stay afloat during the pandemic by covering expenses and maintaining staff levels.
The restaurant's opposition to vaccines and mask-wearing comes as the highly infectious COVID-19 Delta variant surges throughout the country.
As of Wednesday, California reported 3,830,008 Covid-19 cases with 14.2 new cases per 100,000 people. And, according to data released by the California Public Health Department, positive COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU in the state nearly tripled since the start of July.
Representatives for Basilico's, the DIR, and the California Public Health Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
As Insider's Aria Bendix reported, the nation's rise in cases prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to update its mask guidelines on Tuesday after new evidence suggested that some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant could spread the virus.
"Information on the Delta variant from several states and other countries indicates that, on rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a Tuesday press call.
However, Walensky said, vaccines continue to prove to be highly effective in preventing serious cases: "The vast majority of transmission, the vast majority of severe disease, hospitalization, and death is almost exclusively happening among unvaccinated people."
Elsewhere in the country, some restaurants are beginning to require patrons to show proof of vaccination.
Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns Gramercy Tavern, Manhatta, and Union Square Cafe, told CNBC on Thursday his restaurants will require indoor diners and drinkers to prove they have been vaccinated.
Dame, a New York City restaurant that opened during the pandemic, is also requiring diners to show proof of vaccination, as Insider's Rachel Askinasi reported.
"We've been anxiously watching the NYC infection rate creep back up," owner Patricia Howard told Insider. "We can't control whether the person next to us on the subway is wearing a mask, but we can control who gets to come through our doors."
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