San Francisco, California, is set to become the first major American city to require patrons to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to participate in a wide selection of indoor activities.
''We know that for our city to bounce back from the pandemic and thrive, we need to use the best method we have to fight COVID-19 and that’s vaccines,'' Mayor London Breed said in a statement on Thursday. ''Many San Francisco businesses are already leading the way by requiring proof of vaccination for their customers because they care about the health of their employees, their customers, and this City.
"This order builds on their leadership and will help us weather the challenges ahead and keep our businesses open. Vaccines are our way out of the pandemic, and our way back to a life where we can be together safely.''
''Today's announcement is really about making sure that people feel a little bit safer in our city,'' Breed added during a press conference. ''But more importantly, what we're seeing now with this virus is very challenging, and a great concern to me, and I know many of you as well.''
New York City previously revealed plans to require that patrons receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to take part in various indoor venues, such as dining in restaurants and going to gyms and theaters that serve food or drinks. However, San Francisco is the first major city to mandate full vaccination, rather than just partial.
Only patrons looking to eat or drink inside a bar or restaurant would be required to show proof of vaccination; patrons getting takeout or making a to-go order will not be required to prove they have been fully vaccinated. This requirement will take effect for patrons starting on August 20, but employees of these venues have more time to get vaccinated, with their deadline being set at October 13. The mandate also includes an exception for children under 12, who are too young to receive the vaccine.
''This is an excellent move to protect children and people who are immunocompromised and to get the economy back on track,'' local businesswoman Jill Ritchie, who owns Vegan Picnic in San Francisco, told the San Francisco Chronicle. ''It’s a relief because now we’ll all be on the same page. And it gives me hope that my business can survive if everyone can get back to work.''
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.