State leaders split on proof of vaccination requests as California reopens

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As more Californians receive the COVID-19 vaccine, public venues and businesses are making adjustments to welcome back customers, and that may include asking people to show proof of being fully vaccinated.

As of Friday, more than 300,000 people in Sacramento County have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and before California fully abandons its color tier system in June, the Sacramento region remains in the red — but with new perks for those who are fully vaccinated.

The red tier allows private gatherings of up to 200 people outside or 100 people inside.

In the orange tier, outdoor gatherings can be bumped up to 300 people. People can also go to a theme park at 50% capacity and attend a concert or sporting event that is at least 67% capacity.

California’s least restrictive yellow tier allows outdoor events of up to 400 people, and businesses like restaurants and gyms can increase their capacity to 75% — but only if their patrons test negative for COVID-19 or can show a valid vaccination card.

That’s a requirement attorney Mark Reichel says is protected under California’s freedom of contract.

“If it is a private business either restaurant or whatever and they make a determination that they only want to allow vaccinated people in, they can actually do that,” Reichel said.

Currently, proof of vaccination is only mandatory for travel outside of the U.S., but the decision for businesses and public venues to require proof is still split among many state leaders.

“There are certain protected classes that you have to make a reasonable accommodation — so for people that have disabilities, a recognized actual disability and perhaps someone with a firmly held, honestly held religious belief,” Reichel said.

While things continue to change during this pandemic, UC Davis Dr. Dean Blumberg wants to remind people that one rule hasn’t.

“Even if you’re vaccinated and out in public, it’s recommended that you continue to mask and social distance like everybody else. We don’t know who else out there is vaccinated and unvaccinated; people can’t tell just by looking at you,” Dr. Blumberg said.

Sacramento County’s public health officials also told FOX40 Friday that the county has reached a plateau in cases and could move to the orange tier by the end of this month.

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