In a surprise announcement Wednesday morning, the San Francisco Department of Public Health said it would remove proof of vaccination and negative COVID-19 test requirements for indoor dining and beverages in restaurants and restaurants. San Francisco bars starting Friday, March 11. Among the other businesses affected by the announcement are gyms and fitness classes, which will also be allowed to drop the requirement.
As always, there are a few caveats to consider: The health department stressed that companies can make their own decisions about whether to continue checking for proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests . This announcement also doesn’t mean the masks are finished; masks may still remain a requirement, also at a company’s discretion.
San Francisco was among the first major cities in the United States to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for indoor dining. This mandate has been in place since August 20, 2021 and required businesses to check vaccination cards and negative tests at the door. In its statement, the city touted its vaccination rate – currently at 83% – which the SFDPH said was part of the reason it will drop the mandate on Friday. “Proof of vaccination and testing requirements served its purpose in keeping these spaces as safe as possible for staff and customers,” health worker Dr Susan Philip said in part in a released statement. “Rolling it back is part of coming out of crisis mode and learning to live with the virus.”
Cancellation of the vaccination card requirement in San Francisco is not entirely A surprise: Several cities and states across the United States have relaxed their indoor requirements, including (notably) New York City, which dropped its vaccination mandate on Monday. Meanwhile, the state of California ended its indoor mask requirement for those vaccinated on February 15.
It remains to be seen how many restaurants and bars will continue to make vaccination cards an indoor dining or bar requirement for customers. For its part, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, San Francisco’s leading restaurant industry lobbying organization, welcomed the SFDPH’s decision, writing in part: “We are grateful to hear that the City of San Francisco has decided to remove the requirement to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining. This aligns San Francisco with the state, and we commend the mayor and Department of Public Health officials for making this decision. This decision to return to a more normal dining experience is a welcome step for our hard-hit hospitality industry, which relies not only on residents, but also business travelers and many leisure tourists from out of the Bay. Area.