Yelp on Thursday announced it was introducing two new features to help direct users to businesses that are taking extra precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the delta variant.
In a press release, the company said that users will now be able to apply filters for businesses where proof of vaccination is required for customers and for businesses where all staff members are fully vaccinated.
"At Yelp, we are committed to providing consumers with reliable and useful information to help them decide where to spend their money, and at the same time, we aim to level the playing field for all businesses," Yelp said in a statement.
It's unclear how Yelp will ensure businesses are actually enforcing vaccination and mask policies. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company also said it's taking preventative steps to ensure businesses that are taking extra precautions during the pandemic won't be the victim of "review bombing" — targeted campaigns where users leave negative reviews in the hopes of driving customers away from a business.
Yelp says it will put protective measures on business pages that activate the "proof of vaccination" or "staff fully vaccinated" filters. The company says it will "proactively monitor" those pages in the hopes of detecting unusual activity and preventing review bombing.
According to Yelp, business owners can opt in to the "proof of vaccination required" and the "all staff fully vaccinated" filters by taking the following steps:
- Go to the Business Information section
- Click Add (or Edit if you have existing content here) next to "Amenities and more"
- Click Yes next to the attribute you'd like to turn on
- Click Save Changes
Yelp added that it was already informing users about businesses that require masks and companies that require staff to wear masks.