San Francisco closes In-N-Out Burger for not checking customers’ vaccine status

The burger restaurant has been reopened but only for takeout

Namita Singh
Wednesday 20 October 2021 13:51
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San Francisco closes In-N-Out Burger for not checking customers’ vaccine status

The In-N-Out burger chain in San Francisco was temporarily shut last week by the city’s health department for refusing to check the vaccination status of customers dining indoors.

The company’s outlet located in Fisherman’s Wharf location was the only restaurant to have been shut in San Francisco for violating Covid-19 health protocols. Under the current mandate that took effect from 20 August, patrons dining indoors must show proof of full vaccination.

But the authorities said that the outlet declined to comply with the protocol despite repeated warnings.

“Vaccination is particularly important in a public indoor setting where groups of people are gathering and removing their masks, factors that make it easier for the virus to spread. That is why San Francisco requires proof of vaccination for indoor dining,” the department said in a statement to the New York Times.

While the restaurant was shut down on 14 October, it was reopened the next day but only for takeout, reported ABC News.

Though In-N-Out acknowledged the violation of the protocols, it, however, slammed the government action.

“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government," said Arnie Wensinger, chief legal and business officer for the burger chain. "It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant associates to segregate customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry or any other reason."

The city’s Joint Information Centre Outreach Team visiting the restaurant had first asked the outlet to comply with the Covid-19 protocols on 24 September, reported the Denver Gazette. In a follow-up visit on 6 October, the inspectors found the restaurant was still admitting customers without demanding proof of vaccination, following which it filed a notice of violation and closure.

Additional reporting from agencies

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