San Francisco bar alliance announces policy requiring proof of vaccination

The policy will go into effect Thursday.|

The San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance, which includes more than 500 San Francisco bars, announced Monday a new policy requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a 72-hour negative COVID test for entry into their establishments.

The policy will go into effect Thursday.

SFGATE previously reported that the bars, members of the S.F. Bar Owner Alliance, were mulling whether to enact such a requirement last week.

It's unclear how many bars will be participating, as Ben Bleiman, head of the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance, said previously it would be done on a volunteer basis.

The Bar Owner Alliance said in a statement that guests without a COVID vaccine or negative test are able to sit outside at parklets or other outdoor spaces but will not be allowed inside. Individual bars will decide the best way to enforce this new policy for their customers, the alliance said.

"This decision is based solely on our need to protect our workers, customers, and their families," the statement reads. "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."

The new policy arrives as the delta variant continues to pose a threat to San Francisco and the nation at large. As of Sunday, San Francisco's seven-day case average was 147 new COVID cases a day, SFist reported.

Editor's note: This story was updated July 26 at 3:05 p.m. to clarify who is instituting the policy.


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