Starting next Friday, San Franciscans must present vaccination proof at all indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, and at large indoor events.
In a large-scale decision that will affect daily life for countless SF residents, the city has officially required certain high-contact indoor businesses to solicit proof of vaccination from customers and employees. This mandate comes in an effort to keep businesses open while trying to stop the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, especially among unvaccinated individuals.
Starting on Friday, August 20, all San Franciscans must show proof of full vaccination upon entry to indoor public settings such as bars, restaurants, clubs, gyms, and large events with 1,000 people or more. This does not include people picking up to-go orders from these establishments. Since July 29, a large coalition of SF bars has been asking for vaccination proof from patrons in any case, but the policy will now be officially mandated by the city in businesses all across San Francisco.
Businesses are also responsible for getting proof of full vaccination from their employees. They must ascertain employees’ vaccination status by August 20, but their staff vaccination requirement goes into place October 13. This in an effort to preserve jobs and give sufficient time for staff to get fully vaccinated.
Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic. They’re how we can live our lives together, safely.
San Francisco will be requiring proof of vaccination for patrons and employees in a number of indoor settings, including bars, restaurants, gyms, and large events.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) August 12, 2021
Even though 78% of SF residents are now fully vaccinated, the city’s current test positivity rate is reflective of levels from the winter surge. According to a press release, that’s 256 average daily cases in 7 days, for a test positivity rate of 5.6%. In the winter surge, daily cases averaged 373 with a 5.2% test positivity rate. The current surge is less deadly, but the majority of severe cases and hospitalizations occur among unvaccinated individuals.
This decision to request vaccination proof comes on the heels of several other large-scale decisions mandating all CA state employees and school employees to get vaccinated.
Most major universities in California require vaccination proof from students as well, with Stanford University going so far as to require weekly Covid tests regardless of vaccination status. They had 7 vaccinated students develop symptoms and test positive for Covid in July.
“We know that for our city to bounce back from the pandemic and thrive, we need to use the best method we have to fight COVID-19 and that’s vaccines,” said Mayor Breed. “Many San Francisco businesses are already leading the way by requiring proof of vaccination for their customers because they care about the health of their employees, their customers, and this City. This order builds on their leadership and will help us weather the challenges ahead and keep our businesses open. Vaccines are our way out of the pandemic, and our way back to a life where we can be together safely.”
Featured image: Brett Sayles via Pexels