SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – You can leave your vaccination card at home next time you go out in San Francisco and Berkeley.
Starting March 11th, the vaccination or negative test requirement has been dropped. KRON spoke to folks at Balboa Cafe in the Marina District about the change, who were all excited to see another mandate drop.
The manager of the establishment, Sam Stein, told KRON they had their busiest Friday lunch rush of the year.
At Balboa restaurant, staff was removing proof of vaccination signs.
Starting Friday, proof of vaccination or a negative test is no longer required in restaurants, bars or gyms in San Francisco.
“It is a burden off our shoulders. It is an extra step that kinda got added to our duties and although we were happy to protect the community it’s kinda nice to have some normalcy back here at Balboa,” Stein said.
Balboa Cafe manager Stein says this change may even convince more people to frequent the restaurant.
“There are definitely people who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of remembering where that picture on your phone was, getting the app, etc,” she states.
Customers were able to walk through the doors and to their tables without showing any documents.
Nicole Garlick was having dinner at the restaurant, she told KRON she was happy to see another mandate dropped.
“I’m excited. I’m happy that this is lifted and it saves me from the hassle. I am vaccinated but not having to deal with the hassle is good,” Garlick said.
According to the city website, 83% of San Franciscans have completed a vaccine series.
Kameron Johnson says this endemic stage is starting to make life feel more normal.
“It feels good because I just came out of the car and I forgot my mask so it feels good to come in somewhere without a mask,” Johnson told KRON.
He says he will continue to be careful, “I’m still prioritizing my health and stuff like washing my hands but the stuff you should already be doing.”
You will still need proof of vaccination or a negative test at large-scale events with more than 1,000 people and any business can still choose to check those things.
On the other side of the Bay, KRON spoke with one restaurant owner who has dropped the proof of vaccination and says it’s a sense of normalcy.
Starting March 11th, the city of Berkeley is no longer requiring proof of vaccination for restaurants, bars and gyms.
This is thanks to declining Covid cases and high vaccination rates.
At Saul’s restaurant in Berkeley, there’s no sign asking for proof of vaccination.
Owner Peter Levitt says he’s learned how to pivot during the flip flopping of health orders.
“We no longer ask for vaccination and we no longer ask for masks. The staff is voluntary but all of us are choosing to wear a mask for now,” Levitt told KRON. “It’s back to 2019 standards, before Covid.”
He said, “we’ve been open pretty much all through Covid. which is unique, so many restaurants had to close, closed, or went out of business.”
The restaurant near Saul’s is not ready to lift the vaccine mandate just yet.
Berkeley resident Seonju Kim says she feels comfortable dining indoors.
“I also got Covid before so I feel safe,” she told KRON, “I don’t feel bad about eating at places that do not require vaccination or even in classrooms.”
Levitt says the health order change came at the right time, “luckily for us this policy happens in the spring and so outdoor dining is fully open as you can see lots of people sitting out there so if you’re not ready for indoor, come and sit outdoors,” he told KRON.
Berkeley’s health department still recommends restaurants, bars and gyms to require proof of vaccination.