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SF Ends Vax Mandate for Indoor Dining (Sort of)

Starting February 1, bars and restaurants can now allow proof of a negative test (within three days) for indoor dining
By - posted 1/28/2022 No Comment

The new COVID health updates that were released by the San Francisco Department of Public Health on Thursday appear to give bars and restaurants to have more flexibility in deciding their own COVID rules. The new updates allow bars and restaurants to accept patrons for indoor dining who have a negative COVID test (rather than proof of vaccine) should the patron have a religious or health exemption.

Updates to SF’s Indoor Dining Vaccine Mandate

Beginning February 1, 2022, Businesses that operate gyms, other fitness centers, bars, restaurants, and certain other facilities will be allowed to accept religious and medical exemptions to vaccination for patrons and staff/personnel, subject to certain health protections, including providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entry (but people are not required to be tested more than twice each week so long as each test is done at least three days apart) and wearing a Well-Fitting Mask. 

See the full updated SF Health Department Health order from January 27, 2022

There’s still a lot that’s unknown about this new update. There is no definition (that we could find, at least) as to what is an “exemption” and if it simply needs to be stated verbally as an objection, or if there is any official way to get an exemption.

Related Story: COVID Testing: All 23 Free Testing Sites in San Francisco (updated 1/22/22)

But from the way we read this, it appears that as of February 1, 2022 bars and restaurants will now have the option be able to allow patrons for indoor dining and drinking without proof of vaccine, as long as the patron has proof of a negative test within the past 3 days.

Please note that each bar and restaurant can set their own rules. Many spots may choose to continue to require vaccines or boosters, while others may choose to allow negative tests.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an evolving story and we expect updates and changes.