A new health mandate in San Francisco will require that patrons show proof of full vaccination before entering restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and large indoor events as of Aug. 20, city officials announced Thursday.
Proof can be presented as a physical vaccination card, photo of the card or with a digital confirmation.
Large indoor events with at least 1,000 people, will require attendees ages 12 and older provide vaccination proof. Previous state and city rules relied on a negative Covid-19 test for entry to indoor “mega events” of 5,000 or more people, which will no longer be sufficient.
The new health order also requires employees of many indoor business sectors to provide proof of vaccination by Oct. 13 and extends the requirement for certain health care providers, including workers at adult day centers, residential care facilities, dental offices, home health setting and pharmacies.
Officials said the new health order will not apply to those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine for individuals picking food and drink to go.
With cases and hospitalization rates rising due to the delta variant, Mayor London Breed said it is incumbent on residents and visitors to do more to protect those who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine.
The mayor said:
“It’s important because kids under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated, so we have to make sure that we’re protecting them. It’s important because there are still people who are elderly and sick and those with underlying health conditions that may not even be eligible for the vaccine. We’re doing this for them.”
The mayor said The City is following the lead of small businesses that have already implemented vaccination requirements.
Ben Bleiman, who runs the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance, announced late July that approximately 500 of its member bars would require patrons to provide proof of vaccination or show a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to entry.
Bleiman said the policy came about because vaccinated employees were testing positive and worried about infecting young children or elderly persons in their households, adding:
“We did it just to protect our staff and our families and try to help our businesses, but the fact that San Francisco is doing this now is a huge, huge thing for us. We’re not alone anymore.”
Department of Public Health data reports a test positivity rate of 5.6 percent, causing 247 new cases per day, averaged over the past seven-day period. The City peaked at 373 cases per day in January during the winter surge; test positivity rate at that time was 5.2 percent.
Currently, there are 109 persons in the hospital with Covid-19 with 73 in acute care and 36 in intensive care units.
Approximately 78 percent of residents in The City are fully vaccinated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve vaccine boosters for immunocompromised people soon after this week’s independent review conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If and when there is an approval from the FDA and CDC, Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, said The City is ready and able to distribute vaccines to meet the new federal recommendations.
The updated health order can be accessed here for further details.