500 San Francisco bars to request proof of vaccination

Bar owner Ben Bleiman says ‘the writing on the wall’ as Covid-19 cases surge among his staff

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 27 July 2021 19:18
Expert warns of resurgence in Covid cases

A coalition of more than 500 bars in San Francisco will require patrons to produce proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.

The San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance decided to act after becoming “extremely concerned” by increases in Covid-19 cases among its bar staff, “especially those who are fully vaccinated”.

The rule will come into effect on Thursday.

The bar group’s founder Ben Bleiman said they came to the decision after a surge in cases among vaccinated bar staff three weeks ago.

“You could see the writing on the wall. It was happening left and right,” he told The Washington Post.

Mr Bleiman said he had to close one of his bars, Soda Popinski’s, last week after a vaccinated employee contracted the virus.

Members of the ownership group were polled and agreed to the requirement. Individual bars will decide how to enforce the rules, with unvaccinated customers likely to be allowed to sit outside.

It was welcomed by San Francisco Mayor London Breed for helping to protect employees and customers.

“We need everyone to get vaccinated, especially as the Delta variant continues to spread. It’s how we can keep our city and our residents safe,” she said.

The decision comes amid a tightening of mask and vaccine requirements in several parts of the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to reverse its previous position and recommend vaccinated people in some parts of the country wear masks when indoors, according to reports.

In response to a spike in cases almost entirely among the unvaccinated, local officials in several US states have been tightening vaccine and mask rules.

In New York City and California, state employees will be required to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo regular tests for the virus.

Los Angeles County has reinstituted an indoor mask mandate.

The Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to require its frontline health care workers to be vaccinated, in a move confirmed by President Joe Biden.

On Sunday, ​​Dr Anthony Fauci said the United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring Covid-19 cases fuelled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.

Covid testing data was being reviewed as they consider whether to recommend that vaccinated individuals get booster shots. He suggested that some of the most vulnerable, such as organ transplant and cancer patients, are “likely” to be recommended for booster shots.

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