Proof of COVID-19 vaccine still needed? San Francisco restaurants respond to new survey

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Thursday, March 17, 2022
Vaccine card still needed? SF restaurants answer
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association sent a survey to restaurant owners asking if they plan to continue checking for proof of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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

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

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While the Golden Gate Restaurant Association has not gotten all of its responses yet, a majority of restaurant that did respond say they are not requiring vaccine proof anymore.

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

"We are conforming to California's guidance and we are trying to move back to a more normal existence," said Thomas.

There were about 10 million visitors to San Francisco in 2020. That is down 61% from before the pandemic in 2019, according to the San Francisco Travel Assocation.

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

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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 that San Francisco has always had the most stringent guidance and many of our staffs, mine included, are fully vaccinated and boosted."

Thomas also believed the removal of any vaccine verification process will enhance the dining experience altogether.

"It will definitely speed up by what we call the course of service, the getting you, the consumer, in through the front door and seated and getting you started on your meal," Thomas said. "It will definitely help alleviate some time that the hosts are having to check, or the managers at the door so from a staffing perspective, it certainly will help quite a bit."

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Thomas also recommended calling your favorite restaurant ahead of time to see if it is still requiring the proof of vaccine.

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