NYC and San Francisco's Vaccine Mandates for Indoor Dining in Restaurants, Bars, Indoor Concerts and Gyms take effect August 16 and August 20, 2021 respectively. Both cities are among the most vaccinated travel destinations; in Manhattan, 83 percent of adults 18+ and 74 percent of the population as a whole has had at least one vaccine dose, while in San Francisco 77 percent of the entire population has received at least one vaccine dose, and 85 percent of residents 12+ have received at least one dose.
Even with relatively high vaccination rates, NYC and San Francisco, along with most of the rest of the U.S., have seen an increase in new COVID-19 cases. In NYC, new daily COVID-19 cases nearly tripled from July 1 to July 31, 2021, while in San Francisco, the average number of new daily cases increased 10X from the beginning to end of July 2021. Test positivity rates are also higher; in NYC, the COVID-19 tests that returned a positive results were less than 1 percent on 7/1/21, but by 7/31/21 positivity was over 3 percent and currently hovers near 4 percent. In San Francisco, test positivity at the beginning of July was 2.3 percent, which had more than doubled by the end of July to 6.1 percent.
Here are the details of NYC's and San Francisco's vaccine mandates for indoor dining and other indoor activities:
NYC Vaccination Mandate (Key to NYC Pass)
- What It Covers: Indoor dining in restaurants and bars, gyms and fitness facilities, indoor entertainment
- Whom It Covers: Both customers and employees of the above venues
- Vaccine Status: At least one vaccine dose
- How to Show Vaccine Status: Physical CDC vaccination card or NYC COVID SAFE app or, for those vaccinated in New York State, the Excelsior app
- Date: Takes effect August 16, 2021, but inspections and enforcement only start September 13, 2021
- What It Covers: Indoor dining in restaurants and bars, gyms and fitness facilities, indoor entertainment.
- Whom It Covers: Customers and employees of above venues. Does not include customers picking up to-go orders. Does not apply to children under age 12 who cannot be vaccinated.
- Vaccine Status: Full vaccination.
- How to Show Vaccine Status: Physical CDC vaccination card, photo of card on mobile device, or use of approved app, currently CLEAR HealthPass, CommonPass (in conjunction with photo ID), or VaxYes (with level 2 verification)
- Date: Takes effect on August 20, 2021 for all customers; there is a limited exception for events that sold tickets prior to August 12, 2021 for an event that takes place before September 15, 2021 (these events may allow customers to show negative COVID-19 test results instead of vaccination). For employees of restaurants, bars and the other venues, deadline to be fully vaccinated is October 13, 2021
As is often the case, the devil is in the details. Will NYC permit kids under 12, who as of time of writing cannot be vaccinated, to dine indoors? How will NYC and San Francisco deal with those who for medical reasons aren't able to be vaccinated? And what about customers who were vaccinated abroad, possibly with a vaccine that isn't approved in the U.S.?
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