September 24 2021 03:30 pm

San Francisco to require proof of COVID vaccine for indoor activities at restaurants, bars, gyms


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco will require residents and visitors to prove that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for a number of indoor activities such as visiting restaurants, bars and gyms, Mayor London Breed announced Thursday.

The order will require businesses to verify vaccination status prior to entry. This goes into effect on Aug. 20.

Proof of vaccination will be required for all customers and staff. Staff will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 13.

The requirement does not include people ordering takeout, Breed clarifies. It also does not apply to people who are ineligible to be vaccinated, which means kids under the age of 12.

Fully vaccinated means the person has received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

That’s not all the new health order includes, however. There is also a new proof of vaccination requirement for large events at indoor venues, requiring attendees at events with 1,000 people or more to provide proof of vaccination. 

“The health order also extends vaccination requirements to certain health care providers — including workers at adult day centers, residential care facilities, dental offices, home health aides and pharmacists — who are not already required. This goes into effect October 13,” Breed said.

San Francisco is reportedly the first major U.S. city to enforce proof of full vaccination to receive services at indoor businesses. New York City recently began enforcing a similar requirement, but businesses there only need proof of one dose.

In response to Thursday’s announcement, Mayor Darrell Steinberg told FOX40 that Sacramento will “need to head” in the same direction. Sacramento’s mayor said his top priority right now is getting city employee’s vaccinated.

If you have a cell phone and were vaccinated in California, the state has a way to access your vaccination card digitally so you don’t need to carry the paper copy. Click here to get your digital COVID-19 vaccine record.

Before the announcement, hundreds of bars and restaurants were already checking vaccination cards and supported the idea of showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry. 

“We are issuing these new health requirements because indoor, public settings where people congregate in close quarters, often with their masks off, are a main way that the virus spreads,” said Acting Health Officer, Dr. Naveena Bobba. “With the increased COVID-19 case rates, we need everybody who is eligible for a vaccine to get one now.” 

Already, COVID-19 cases among restaurant staff have caused some owners to temporarily close or limit service to outdoor dining.

Health officials say most of the new COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated people. There are also reports of “breakthrough” cases, in which fully vaccinated people also contract the virus. The CDC says these breakthrough cases are expected and account for a very small minority of all new cases.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.


According to data from the city of San Francisco, 71% of the city’s eligible residents are fully vaccinated as of Aug. 11.

Statewide, 63.8% of Californians are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.

See the breakdown of vaccinated California counties:

People who prove full vaccination will still need to keep a face mask on while inside public spaces, in line with a previous order.

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