Some San Francisco Bars To Require Vaccination Or COVID-19 Test
Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG

Hundreds of bars in San Francisco may soon require patrons to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result in order to eat or drink inside, according to a new report.

“The San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance, which represents more than 500 bar owners in the area, said it changed its position this week on requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test due to a recent uptick in cases ‘among our staff members, especially those who are fully vaccinated,’” the New York Post reported.

“This decision is based solely on our need to protect our workers, customers and their families,” the group said in a statement. “However, we hope it might also influence some who have not yet received vaccinations to do so as soon as they are able.”

“We understand that the only way our society (and our businesses) can ever return to true normalcy is through higher rates of vaccinations among our residents, not just in San Francisco but across the United States of America,” it added.

Patrons can sit outside without providing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours. In a statement, the alliance said it would be “up to each individual bar to decide how best to enforce this for their customers.” SFGate notes that it’s unclear how many bars will participate in the requirement, as previously, the alliance floated using the idea on a volunteer basis.

Ben Blieman, president of the Alliance, which represents more than 500 bar owners in the city, said 85% of bar owners in the city are in favor of requiring proof of vaccination for indoor customers, NBC-Bay Area reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed course on Tuesday, recommending that vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the Delta variant of the virus is surging.

“We believe the vast majority of transmission is occurring in unvaccinated people and through unvaccinated people, but unlike the Alpha variant that we had back in May — where we didn’t believe that if you were vaccinated you could transmit further – this is different now,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday. “With the Delta variant, and we’re seeing now that it’s actually possible if you are a rare breakthrough infection that you can transmit further, which is the reason for the change.”

President Joe Biden weighed in on the CDC guidance: “The more we learn about this virus and the delta variation, the more we have to be worried and concerned. And there’s only one thing we know for sure — if those other 100 million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world,” Biden said.

Some states have taken action to ban vaccine passports.

Republican Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon in May issued a directive to block state agencies from establishing the use of vaccine passports, which some places in the U.S. may require for people to gather in large sporting and entertainment events.

Under the directive, state agencies and commissions are ordered to “provide full access to state spaces and state services, regardless of a constituent’s COVID-19 vaccination status.”

“Vaccine passport programs have the potential to politicize a decision that should not be politicized,” Gordon said in a statement. “They would divide our citizens at a time when unity in fighting the virus is essential, and harm those who are medically unable to receive the vaccine. While I strongly encourage Wyomingites over the age of 16 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is a personal choice based upon personal circumstances.”

Gordon took action after a resolution stalled that would have set out a “vaccine bill of rights.” Introduced in the State House in March, the resolution pledged to “protect [Wyoming’s] citizens against unconstitutional and medically irresponsible COVID-19 vaccine mandates.”

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