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San Francisco Mandates Vaccination Verification for Certain Businesses’ Staff and Patrons
Monday, August 16, 2021

On August 12, 2021, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SDPH) issued a revised order mandating that the following businesses require both patrons, aged 12 and older, and staff to provide proof of full vaccination:

  • Operators or hosts of establishments or events where food or drink is served indoors, including but not limited to, dining establishments, bars, clubs, theaters, and entertainment venues.

  • Gyms, recreation facilities, yoga studios, dance studios, other fitness establishments, where patrons engage in cardiovascular, aerobic, strength training or other exercise involving elevated breathing.

Further, under the Order all businesses and governmental entities are urged to consider moving operations or activities outdoors, if feasible, and to the extent allowed by local law and permitting requirements.

Individuals who enter or work in a covered business on an intermittent or occasional basis for short periods of time (e.g. individuals who deliver goods or packages) are not required to provide proof of vaccination.

Fitness establishments and activities that are part of a K-12 school or operate as a program for children and youth are covered by a separate sector-specific directive (available at on the SFDPH webpage).

In addition, the new requirements for both patrons and staff are subject to any applicable requirements of federal, state, or local laws, requiring accommodations.

Acceptable proof of vaccination includes:

  • The CDC vaccination card (physical, digital, or picture of the card)

  • Documentation from a healthcare provider

  • A personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record issued by the State of California or by an approved private company.

Businesses must crosscheck proof of vaccination against each patron’s photo identification.

Written self-attestation of vaccination status is not an acceptable form of proof of vaccination under the Order.

Businesses covered by the new vaccination mandate must implement verification for patrons as soon as possible, but no later than August 20, 2021.

Businesses covered by the mandate are also required to use their “best efforts” to ascertain the vaccination status of all staff who routinely work onsite by August 20, 2021. Moreover, covered businesses must as soon as possible but no later than October 13, 2021, ensure that all staff who routinely work onsite provide proof that they are fully vaccinated before entering or working in any indoor portion of the facility.

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