A group representing more than 300 San Francisco bars on Monday announced a new policy requiring patrons to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a 72-hour negative test for indoor service.
The San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance said the new rule, which goes into effect Thursday, is in response to concerns about a steady uptick in COVID-19 cases among its staff members and the general public, as the delta variant takes hold.
"We believe we are obligated to protect our workers and their families and to offer a safe space for customers to relax and socialize," the group said in a statement. "The decision is based solely on our need to protect our workers, customers and their families. However, we hope it might also influence some who have not yet received vaccinations to do so as soon as they are able."
Enforcement of the new mandate will be up to each bar individually, SF Bar Owner Alliance founder Ben Bleiman said on Twitter. Customers who can't provide verification of vaccination or a negative test can still be served outdoors.
"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 group said.