San Francisco’s COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Mandate Begins for Restaurants, Gyms

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
August 20, 2021Updated: August 20, 2021

San Francisco’s vaccine mandate requiring bars, restaurants, and gyms to check customers’ vaccination status went into effect starting on Friday, Aug. 20.

The vaccine checks in San Francisco started Friday in certain businesses, according to some business owners.

“There’s definitely some anxiety around how it’s all going to work,” said Pete Sittnick, a managing partner of Waterbar and EPIC Steak restaurants, according to CBS News. A slowdown of guests entering the restaurant is expected, he said, adding there will also likely be pushback from people who disagree with the mandate or scenarios where people show up without documentation.

Sittnick noted that if someone doesn’t have their vaccine card or other information, “they can still eat outside.”

“There is an option and we just need to be ready for different scenarios,” Sittnick said.

Pearce Cleaveland, co-owner of the Temple nightclub, said his security guards have been trained to check all forms of vaccination proof, as well as falsified copies of vaccination cards.

“We’ve had people who get upset at the door when they’re turned away, but in general they’re understanding,” he said. “It’s the tourists who are generally disappointed, when they’re unaware of the requirement and can’t get vaccinated quickly enough.”

Earlier this month, coming on the heels of an announcement from New York City officials, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said that the city “will be requiring proof of vaccination for patrons and employees in a number of indoor settings, including bars, restaurants, gyms, and large events.” According to the mayor, a Democrat, such a mandate will reduce the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“The requirement for proof of full vaccination for patrons at indoor public settings is effective August 20,” she wrote in a series of tweets at the time. “The requirement for staff is effective October 13 to allow time for full vaccination. This order doesn’t include individuals ordering or picking up food or drink to go.”

The systems being deployed by New York City and San Francisco have received significant blowback from business owners and locals, who have argued the move is unlawful and violates individuals’ right to privacy.

A number of restaurants filed a lawsuit this week against New York City over the vaccine passport system, according to the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue. They are seeking an injunction against the citywide mandate.

The order, the association said, is not only “arbitrary, irrational, unscientific and unlawful,” but it would “severely impact” the business, livelihoods, and businesses of members of the group.

Irene Siderakis, owner of Kellogg’s Diner in Brooklyn, said she will file a lawsuit against Mayor Bill de Blasio over the passports and announced she will not comply with the city’s guidelines.

“We’re suing Mayor de Blasio because he’s not letting me run my business with all the rights that I have,” Siderakis told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning. “I already have a $1.4 million judgment against me from the first mandates that our governor and our mayor put on us the first time around, and now this. They’re breaking me.”

Across France, as the country mandated vaccine passports for certain activities, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets over the past month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.