On Friday, San Francisco became the first major city in the US to mandate vaccine passports to prove double vaccination against COVID-19 for indoor venues such as restaurants and gyms. The city’s mandate is stricter than mandates implemented in other cities such as New York.
San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed announced the mandate a week ago, which she says is in an effort to combat the rise in cases due to the Delta variant. Cases have been rising despite 80% of the city’s population having been inoculated.
The new mandate, which went into effect on Friday, requires all businesses with indoor dining, such as restaurants and bars, to demand proof of full vaccination from customers at entry. The mandate also applies to facilities where there is “heavy breathing,” like gyms and yoga studios.
Additionally, even outdoor events with more than 1,000 attendees will be required to show vaccine passports for adults and children over the age of 12.
The proof of vaccination can be a verifiable digital vaccine record, a CDC-issued paper card, or smartphone photo of the CDC-issued card. The city will also be accepting proof of vaccination issued by other country’s governments.
In preparation for the new rules, bars and restaurants had posted signs and brought in more staff for vaccination verification.
San Francisco’s vaccine passport rules are stricter compared to other cities. In New York City, only proof of one dose of the vaccine is required for high-risk indoor activities.