San francisco restaurants

Is proof of the COVID-19 vaccine still necessary? San Francisco restaurants respond to new pandemic reopening survey

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The Golden Gate Restaurant Association this week sent a survey to restaurant owners in San Francisco asking if they plan to continue checking for evidence of the coronavirus vaccine for entry.

Last Friday, San Francisco lifted the mandate requiring businesses to verify proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

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Although the Golden Gate Restaurant Association has not yet received all of its responses, the majority of restaurants that responded said they no longer require proof of the vaccine.

Executive Director Laurie Thomas said she believes the change can help boost tourism and business.

“We are complying with California guidelines and trying to get back to a more normal existence,” Thomas said.

There were about 10 million visitors to San Francisco in 2020. That’s a 61% drop from before the pandemic in 2019, according to the San Francisco Travel Association.

Visitor spending, including for meetings and conventions, was about $2 billion in 2020, down nearly 78% from the previous year.

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“What we don’t want to do is we, none of us want to alienate any of our customers,” Thomas replied. “I know San Francisco has always had the strictest guidelines and many of our employees, including mine, are fully vaccinated and reinforced.”

Thomas also believed that removing any vaccine verification process would completely improve the dining experience.

“It’s definitely going to accelerate through what we call course of service, getting you, the consumer, through the front door and sitting down and starting your meal,” Thomas said. “It will definitely help reduce the time that hosts have to check out, or managers at the door, so from a staff perspective it will definitely help a bit.”

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Thomas also recommended calling your favorite restaurant ahead of time to see if they still require proof of the vaccine.

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