Oakland eating places might want to request proof of vaccination in 2022

According to the regulation, adults must present their vaccination card together with an ID card that matches the vaccination card. Photo credit: Azucena Rasilla

Oakland City Council on Tuesday approved an emergency ordinance requiring anyone to provide proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering restaurants, bars, and other facilities.

Proof of vaccination is required from February 1st.

According to the regulation, adults must present their vaccination card together with an ID card that matches the vaccination card. Children aged 12 and over must show a vaccination card, but do not need to show any ID. Unvaccinated people can still enter the places covered by the regulation if they present a medical certificate and a current negative test.

The regulation applies to restaurants, bars, coffee houses; Entertainment venues and museums; Gyms, fitness centers, and yoga studios; and senior centers and adult care facilities. By January 15, these companies are required to put up signs warning people of the upcoming request.

The council approved the ordinance 8-0 after removing public libraries and dental offices from the original law drafted by councilor Dan Kalb. Several councilors argued that the city shouldn’t restrict people from receiving medical care or entering public buildings, including libraries, which sometimes serve as shelters for the city’s unoccupied residents.

Although 84% of Oaklanders are vaccinated, officials are concerned about the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants. Other cities with their own health departments, such as Berkeley and San Francisco, have introduced similar rules. Big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York have also recently passed vaccination regulations. Kalb introduced the Emergency Ordinance because Alameda County Health didn’t. The councilor said the rules introduced elsewhere helped encourage people to get vaccinated.

“There are advantages here, even if it temporarily means that someone does not go to their favorite bar,” said Kalb.

The city’s law enforcement department will be responsible for responding to complaints about companies that fail to adhere to the new rules.

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