Berkeley to Require Proof of Vaccination at Restaurants, Gyms, Indoor Events

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Starting next week in Berkeley, patrons of restaurants, gyms and large indoor events will need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

A health order issued Wednesday by Berkeley's health officer also requires, starting Oct. 15, that employees of those businesses and other specified facilities to be vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus.

The order covers settings where people remove a face mask to eat or drink, breathe more intensely to work out, or large events where people crowd together in groups of 1,000 or more. 

Starting Sept. 10, those establishments must require patrons show proof of full vaccination and a photo ID, according to the order from City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez.

The businesses and venues subject to the order must check all patrons who are at least 12 years old, to make sure they have been fully vaccinated. That's 14 days after the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine or 14 days after the second shot of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

By Oct. 15, sites where employees must be vaccinated or be tested weekly include indoor businesses like restaurants and gyms, but also a number of other facilities that include adult care facilities, adult day programs, dental offices, pharmacies and public and private childcare sites.

All employees, including contractors, volunteers, custodians, maintenance and other workers who enter the businesses, are covered by the order.

Workers who are not vaccinated due to a religious belief must provide a signed letter under penalty of perjury, under the order. Employees with a medical condition must provide a letter signed by a licensed medical provider. The employee, however, would also have to provide negative test results on a weekly basis.

For large indoor events where tickets were sold before Sept. 3, patrons must show negative COVID test results received in the previous 72 hours. Starting on Oct. 15, such events will solely require proof of vaccination.

The health officer's order is available here.

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