Berkeley restaurants

Oakland May Require COVID-19 Vaccine to Dine Indoors

OAKLAND – People dining in Oakland restaurants or visiting other indoor public gathering spaces such as gyms may need to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 if city council approves an emergency order on Tuesday.

The ordinance, proposed by council member Dan Kalb, is similar to those passed several weeks ago by the counties of San Francisco and Contra Costa and the city of Berkeley.

This would require adults to show their vaccination card and ID card inside places where food or drink is served, and in concert halls or museums, gyms, yoga studios, retirement homes, senior centers, libraries, dental offices and Oakland City Hall.

The law would also apply to young people aged 12 and over, but they would not be required to show identification.

The ordinance would come into force on February 1, 2022.

Kalb said the goal is to increase the vaccination rate in Oakland as well as protect the people inside.

“If the people who have (COVID-19) more and more are unvaccinated, those who are most likely to spread it are not vaccinated, so we must discourage unvaccinated people from hanging out in the crowds at the indoors, especially in places where you take your mask off, ”Kalb said. .

Alameda County has not issued a vaccination warrant.

“We are supporting the vaccination of as many people as possible in the county,” said Dr Nicholas Moss, county health officer. “The biggest challenge for us is that Alameda County is a very large county with many cities. It would be difficult to help all small businesses to implement this. “

Moss said the county had considered a warrant, but the thought of needing to strengthen enforcement mechanisms dissuaded him.

“We assessed that against the progress we had made in getting people vaccinated,” he said. “How much juice could we extract from it?” With these considerations, we have decided not to go ahead.

Kalb said that in Oakland, the city’s code enforcement team would be responsible for responding to complaints about companies failing to check customers’ vaccine evidence and would have the power to impose fines.

Contra Costa County is also enforcing its vaccine mandate by sending inspectors to businesses with complaints from customers. After this news organization reported that the inspectors did not impose a fine on any company in november, despite receiving more than 80 complaints, the supervisory board told them to start cracking down again.

Under Oakland’s proposed ordinance, unvaccinated people could still dine indoors and attend gyms or large indoor events as long as they have a physician-verified medical exemption and a recent negative COVID-19 test.

The exemptions for going to town hall, public libraries and dental offices would be broader: a recent negative COVID test could be used in place of proof of vaccination, whether or not the person has a doctor’s note.