SF vaccine mandate now in effect for indoor bars, restaurants, gyms, more

ByAmy Hollyfield and Wayne Freedman KGO logo
Saturday, August 21, 2021
SF vaccine mandate in effect for indoor bars, restaurants, more
San Francisco has one of the nation's highest coronavirus vaccination rates at nearly 80-percent, but with the Delta variant, it wants more.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Make sure you have your vaccination card or a picture on your phone if you plan to do things indoors in San Francisco starting today.

A new rule is now in effect, requiring vaccinations if you're visiting indoor bars, restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, entertainment venues and more.

The city has one of the nation's highest coronavirus vaccination rates at nearly 80-percent, but with the Delta variant, it wants more, and hopes these new measures will encourage even more people to get their shots.

RELATED: Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test to be required at indoor events in California

Grocery stores are exempt from the vaccine mandate.

Gym members at Fitness SF on Market Street were some of the first asked to show proof of vaccination Friday at 5 a.m. when the gym opened. Members told ABC7 News it was not a big deal.

"It took a minute and a half to check in. I checked online so I knew what to expect so I was fine with it," Gabriel Moody said after his workout.

"I have it on my phone and it's no problem at all, happy to share it. I feel a little bit safer because of it," Jaime Caban said as he walked in.

VIDEO: How to show proof of vaccination in San Francisco or anywhere in California

Many indoor businesses in San Francisco and other parts of California are requiring proof of vaccination. Here's how to get your digital card.

Tourists at Pier 39 told ABC7 News they were aware of the mandate.

"I had an alert on my phone from the airlines that California may need you to have your vaccine card, so I brought it with me. We heard last night from an email from Alcatraz that we would need it today to come. We have it, we're good," said Judy Kornaga of Philadelphia.

The Eagle Café at Pier 39 has prepared for tourists who do not have proof of vaccine. Employees put tables outside, where they plan to seat those who do not have proof of vaccination.

"It's going to be a little bit awkward. At the front door I'm sure it's going to slow things down. We are going to have to ask to see the proof, they are going to have to pull it out, we'll see how it goes. It's going to be an interesting weekend. We are prepared for it. We've been gearing up for it. We've got signage. We have trained our staff. We will have managers at the front door to assist. Hopefully it will go smoothly," said Bob Partrite, COO of Simco restaurants.

The new rules however, caught caught some visitors by surprise. Cena Spencer is vacationing from Denver, Colorado.

"I never heard of it until now," she said.

RELATED: SF businesses prepare for indoor vaccine mandates to take effect

Across the city, countless restaurant greeters dealt with additional responsibilities.

"It makes my job more difficult but it is for the betterment of our health," said Sandra Nava at Tony's Pizza in North Beach. She and others spent today certifying vaccination cards, or QR codes, available on-line from the state here. They're the door openers in San Francisco, now. Most people have been compliant.

"I think of it as safety for everyone. A consideration for others," said Natasha Chong, who found a seat inside with her boyfriend.

Not everyone likes the new rules, however. We found Pete Glikshtern sitting outside Mario's Bohemian. He is not vaccinated and has no regrets. The rules are too much, he said. "It just doesn't seem right. It's like a yellow star on my shoulder. It's not okay."

RELATED: SF recommends suspension without pay for first responders who don't report vaccine status

A few first responders could lose their job over this.

Eight San Francisco police officers, 7 firefighters and 2 sheriff's deputies have not shown their proof of vaccination.

The city is recommending that they be suspended and, eventually, they could lose their jobs.

Although Mayor London Breed said Thursday the goal is not to punish people but to educate people.

While the city has recommended they be suspended it is up to their manager to make the final decision.

VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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