Patrons who dine and drink indoors at restaurants and bars in San Francisco will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test before entering businesses starting Friday, public health officials announced Wednesday.
The public will also be able to enter gyms and fitness studios without having to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Public health officials have pointed to a decline in cases and hospitalizations in lifting the requirement.
Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health said:
Our cases of Covid continue to go down and are at a low enough level that we feel comfortable making this change and because we have such high vaccination rates.”
Businesses can still enforce a proof of vaccination policy for its patrons if they choose to do so.
Data from the department shows the number of new cases has significantly dropped in The City since omicron became the dominant varant. As of March 1, The City’s rolling seven-day average of new cases per day was 110, compared to Jan. 9 when it was 2,407 at the peak of the omicron surge.
Hospitalizations citywide for Covid-19 have also seen a sharp dip with 58 people hospitalized with the virus as of March 5 compared to 286 hospitalizations on Jan. 25
Colfax also credited residents in getting vaccinated and boosted in being able to lift the proof of vaccination requirement. Officials said 83 percent of residents are fully vaccinated and 65 percent of them have received a booster shot.
Proof of vaccination requirements for “mega” events of over 1,000 people are still required under state guidelines.
The City was one of the first in the nation in August of last year to require patrons to show proof of vaccination at some businesses in an effort to combat the delta variant and continued the policy to deal with the more infectious omicron variant.
Meanwhile, Berkeley also announced Wednesday that they are doing away with vaccine verification at restaurants and gyms starting on Friday.