Sarah Palin dines out two nights in a row in New York – days after announcing positive Covid test

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Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin was spotted dining at two New York restaurants in two days, just after she tested positive for Covid-19.

The 57-year-old was also seen dining out on Tuesday night, at Upper East Side restaurant Campagnola. She was also seen on Wednesday night at the same restaurant, Elio’s in Manhattan, where she dined on Saturday.

Ms Palin has not yet been vaccinated.

New York City regulations state that diners must provide proof of vaccination before entering restaurants. City guidelines urge restaurants to ask guests questions to prevent those who may be ill from entering and to “have a system in place for controlling crowding at your front door”.

While she was seen indoors on Saturday, photos from Wednesday night showed her in the restaurant’s outdoor section.

In a statement to Mediaite, which first published these pictures, the restaurant said that Ms Palin had come to apologise to the restaurant for her Saturday visit, which had caused an uproar.

“In accordance with the vaccine mandate and to protect our staff, we seated her outdoors. We are a restaurant open to the public, and we treat all civilians the same,” the statement said.

The restaurant had also apologised earlier this week for allowing the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate to dine at the restaurant. The restaurant’s manager had said that Elio’s was “taking this isolated incident – and unfortunate oversight – very seriously”.

“Elio’s adheres to and believes in the vaccine mandate, and all it is doing to protect our staff, regulars and the dining public,” the manager had said on Monday.

On Tuesday, city authorities said the restaurant will not face scrutiny for its decision to allow Ms Palin to dine unvaccinated at the restaurant.

In a statement to Gothamist, a spokesperson for City Hall said they would encourage: “any New Yorker who came into contact with Ms. Palin to get tested, just as we encourage all New Yorkers to get tested regularly, especially those who believe they may have been exposed…”

Videos on social media showed Ms Palin dining at the restaurant’s outdoor section with a small group on Wednesday night. She can be seen entering and leaving without a mask.

Ms Palin is in New York City in connection with a defamation lawsuit against The New York Times.

On Monday, Manhattan district judge Jed Rakoff said “Ms Palin had tested positive for coronavirus” moments before the trial was about to begin. The judge had added that Ms Palin “is of course unvaccinated,” and said that the trial will begin on 3 February to give her time to recover.

Ms Palin had also tested positive for Covid last April, and at that time, had urged people to maintain social distancing even though she has been a vocal advocate against vaccine mandates.

Last month, she had said in Arizona: “It’ll be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot. I will not do that. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids either.”