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Bay Area Bars May Implement New Rule in Response to COVID-19 Delta Variant Surge


San Francisco and San Jose bars might soon start carding all patrons. But it wouldn’t be for proof of legal drinking age — it would be for proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

As first reported by SFGate, the San Francisco Bar Alliance is considering a new recommendation that patrons show their vaccination cards to get into any one of the 500 bars it represents. Bars in San Jose may follow suit for the safety of their patrons and employees.

Cache Bouren, the owner Haberdasher bar in downtown San Jose said he’s not waiting to see what the San Francisco Bar Alliance is going to do. He’s already requiring proof of vaccination in his business.

San Francisco bars might soon start carding all patrons. But it wouldn’t be for proof of legal drinking age — it would be for proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Cierra Johnson reports.

When Haberdasher reopened in mid-June, Bouren decided to require proof to protect his employees. He said regular customers were OK with his decision.

“They feel a lot safer,” he said. “And while there is sometimes friction at the door by folks who either don’t understand it or don’t agree with the policy , once you’re inside, the feeling in here…there’s a lot of weight off your shoulders knowing that everyone is the room has had the vaccine.”

The San Jose Downtown Business Association said the Haberdasher is sort of a test case. While it watches the San Francisco situation, an association director said the policy is not popular with owners. 

Haberdasher in Downtown San Jose has started asking patrons to show their vaccination cards. NBC Bay Area’s Jessica Aguirre spoke to owner Cache Bouren about his decision and how customers are taking it.

“So far, what I’m hearing is that they’re not thinking that it makes business sense,” said San Jose Downtown Business Association Director Nate LeBlanc, “and also with the cards being able to be easily forged , it’s not necessarily the safeguard that it might appear.”

Cache understands and said the San Francisco Bar Alliance’s decision will probably be based on what he’s already considered.

“We all don’t have to agree but there are some things that we can’t ignore. There is some danger there,” Cache said. “I don’t like the idea that one of my bartenders may have to risk their life to earn their rent money pouring someone a drink.”

The San Francisco Bar Alliance isn’t expected to make a formal decision on the issue until next week, SFGate reported.


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