'It's been challenging:' Labor Day Weekend puts San Francisco vaccine mandate to the test

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Labor Day holiday weekend is bringing more visitors to the Bay Area, and it's also been the first true test of San Francisco's vaccine mandate, requiring proof of vaccination for most indoor settings.

"It's so pretty, it's amazing," said Julia Dolle.

European tourists Suus and Julia were loving the sights of San Francisco Monday, but you can't leave home without your proof of vaccination.

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"I've had to show proof of vaccination at my hotel, restaurant and another restaurant, I think it's good because you feel safer," said tourist Carol Bratcher from San Diego.

Since August 20, it's been the law in San Francisco -- if you want to shop or dine indoors, restaurants are checking your status at the door.

"I think it'll encourage more people to get vaccinated, everybody wants to go to restaurants," said Daniel Agonafer from San Francisco.

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The indoor mandate is aimed to avoid a surge in highly-contagious Delta variant cases. Honolulu joins San Francisco and New York in similar rules.

But the mandate has been complicated for Christina Santos, who's traveling with 28 friends and relatives from Santa Barbara County.

"Not everybody's vaccinated in our group, so it's difficult for restaurants to accommodate 28 of us. So we had to go to Denny's because they didn't ask for vaccine cards," Santos said.

Nick's Lighthouse restaurant supervisor Melvin McKay says the vaccine mandate hasn't been good for his Fisherman's Wharf restaurant. He's been forced to turn hundreds of people away, many over the weekend.

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"It's been challenging to say the least, some are diehard saying I'm not getting the vaccine, it's phony but most are understanding about it," said McKay.

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association reports few issues with the mandate so far.

"All of our members are very supportive, do we want this to go on forever? We don't But until we get little kids vaccinated, this will be around for a while," said Golden Gate Restaurant Association Executive Director Laurie Thomas.

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