SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — You could be showing more than ID at some bars in San Francisco soon. They could be asking to see proof that you’re not just 21 but vaccinated against COVID-19 as well.
With the Delta variant surging and a huge spike in vaccinated bar staff contracting COVID-19, the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance is asking a question.
“We’re wondering what responsibility we have to our staffs and we absolutely have to do everything in our power to protect them and their families,” said Ben Bleiman.
Right now, 82 percent of the owners in the alliance say they support vaccine card checks at the door. For Bleiman, who owns two bars, this isn’t hypothetical.
“I couldn’t open my bar on Wednesday because my bartender contracted COVID from another job that he had bartending and we lost a lot of money, he lost a lot of money.”
While it would be a first in America, the French government has mandated customers be vaccinated before they can gain access to cafes, bars and the like.
That push caused more than a million French people to sign up that day for their doses.
Bleiman doesn’t care about incentivizing shots, however. It’s about his staff’s safety.
“The problem now is, frankly, a bunch of very selfish individuals who think they somehow know more than 99 percent of health experts and scientists. They’re being extremely arrogant, extremely narcissistic and they are putting our livelihoods and lives in jeopardy,” he said.
District 11 supervisor Ahsha Safai said it’s not just about the safety of bartenders but society as a whole – even in San Francisco where 76 percent of people age 12 and older are fully vaccinated.
“That last 24 percent is really putting themselves in danger and putting the status of our economy in danger right now, the condition of our schools, everything,” Safai told KPIX.
San Francisco is mandating vaccines for all its employees but the Department of Public Health has not mandated or even recommended that for the private sector.
“We’re all in agreement that we want to do everything in our power to protect both our employees and our customers and what that could look like is requiring masks in the workplace or requiring proof of vaccination status,” said Daniel Herzstein, director of public policy for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.