A group of 500 San Francisco bars will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to drink inside

Masked bartender makes drinks in San Francisco
San Francisco bars will require proof of vaccination Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
  • The SF Bar Owner Alliance members will require vaccination or a negative COVID test for customers.
  • Unvaccinated customers can still sit outside at bars.
  • Some municipalities are considering reinstating mask mandates as the Delta variant spreads.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A group of 500 bars in San Francisco will require customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

The SF Bar Owner Alliance released a statement on Monday stating that the new rules would go into effect beginning Thursday, July 29. The group is “extremely concerned by a recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 among our staff members, especially those who are fully vaccinated.”

Members of the group were polled before arriving at the decision to require vaccination proof or a negative test within 72 hours, the statement said. Each bar has the discretion to decide exactly how to enforce the decision, and unvaccinated customers are allowed to sit outside. Eater has a full list of bars with new requirements.

The requirement is not legally binding and doesn’t come from the government, but San Francisco mayor London Breed tweeted in support.

“This is a responsible decision by the SF Bar Owner Alliance that will help protect employees and customers,” she wrote.

Some US cities are considering restoring mask mandates as the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus spreads. Los Angeles County will once again require masks to be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Officials in Las Vegas and some Northern California counties have also advised residents to begin wearing masks again for indoor dining. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said that the city’s mask mandate would not be reinstated.

Verifying vaccination status also puts an additional burden on workers. Many retail workers were divided on lifting mask mandates in the first place and some were nervous about enforcing the rules.

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