San Francisco bars, restaurants to begin checking for vaccination proof

Beginning Friday, San Francisco will become the only city in the U.S. to restrict indoor dining to those who provide proof of vaccination against COVID.

The new health order will also be in effect at bars, gyms and other indoor establishments.

Change is coming to Atwater Tavern near Oracle Park, as with every restaurant in San Francisco.

"It's just another part of the long process. And we are going along and doing the right thing," said the restaurant's owner, John Caine.

SEE ALSO: California to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test for large indoor events

Customers can present their proof in the form of a vaccination card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a photo of the card, or a digital record from the state. Customers must also present photo identification cards.

What restaurant owners don't want are showdowns with angry customers at the front door.

"Especially after a few drinks. I worry about that. As I said to the team, ‘back away.’ We're not going to argue. We will tell people they can't come in," Caine said.

San Francisco health officials hope the order helps stop the spread of the delta variant.

"If they are not vaccinated or choose not to show their vaccination, then dining in San Francisco is not for you right now," said Golden Gate Restaurant Association Executive Director Laurie Thomas.

Customers may still dine outdoors without presenting proof of vaccination.

"I'm worried about the vaccine mandate costing us business," said Caine.

A couple visiting San Francisco from Calaveras County said they won't be frequenting any of the city's restaurants because of the mandate.

"It's just limiting people from doing things. It's keeping the economy down," said Michael Green.

But some wonder whether the mandate will increase business.

"I'll feel more comfortable and safer. I'd definitely go out more with this new policy," said Barbara Vaz of San Francisco.

New York City has also started requiring proof of vaccination for indoor settings, but unlike San Francisco, the rule does not require full vaccination