reopening the bay area

Oakland Dive Bar Requiring Customers to Show COVID-19 Vaccination Card

Bar owner said the new rules are to protect patrons and staff

NBC Universal, Inc.

A dive bar in Oakland is requiring people to show their proof of vaccination card in order to get in.

But that’s not all. The Eli’s Mile High Club in west Oakland is also asking people for their contact information, in case there’s a need for contact tracing.

Masks are also required. It’s one of the new rules to protect patrons and staff at Eli’s Mile High Club.

“If you don’t want to come here, don’t come here it’s no big deal,” said Oakland resident Nick Yahnke.

Rebellion might be the best way to describe the decor at Eli’s Mile High Club, a dive bar with an expansive outdoor patio, completely covered in graffiti.

But regardless of the punk rock atmosphere, co-owner Billy Joe Agan explained why he put in place strict new rules for the bar’s reopening.

“We haven’t interacted with a big group of people in a long time and I think there’s a bit of PTSD that everyone really has about big groups,” he said.

On Friday, a bouncer at the door asked every customer for their vaccination card and the best way to reach them just in case there’s a need for contract tracing.

“If you’re 14 days out from your last vaccination, then we write your name on the board, and ask for your number,” Agan said.

Agan isn’t kidding. Yahnke presented his vaccine card but was denied.

“I tried to go in, but I’ve only been vaccinated about a week and a half ago, so you need two weeks,” he said.

When Eli’s announced the new rules, people sounded off on the bar’s Instagram page.

Some raised privacy concerns. Others applauded the extra precautions.

“It is what it is, if they don’t ever want to come back, its fine. If they want to come back, hey, we’ll be here for them,” Agan said.

Agan told NBC Bay Area that he will lift the rules likely by June 15, when the state plans to fully reopen.

“It’s good they’re looking out for everyone who is coming here, the employees and the community,” he said.

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