More cities requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test for indoor activities

New Orleans and San Francisco are the latest U.S. cities to require proof of vaccination, negative COVID-19 test for indoor activities like restaurants, gyms, sporting events and more.


The list of U.S. cities requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for indoor activities is growing.

San Francisco is set to become the second major city in the United States to implement such a policy.

Mayor London Breed announced Thursday that city restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms, theaters and large indoor events with more than 1,000 people will be required to obtain proof of vaccination from patrons and employees. The order takes effect Aug. 20.

New York was the first large city to announce a similar rule last week. San Francisco's mandate will go further, as full proof of vaccination is required to enter indoor spaces, whereas in New York, customers only needed to show proof of one dose.

The order also extends vaccination requirements to certain health care providers that were not included in the state vaccine mandate. This group includes workers at adult day centers, residential care facilities, dental offices, home health aides and pharmacists.

Many San Francisco restaurants and bars are already requiring proof of vaccination for entry, but the new order makes such screening mandatory.

“Many San Francisco businesses are already leading the way by requiring proof of vaccination for their customers because they care about the health of their employees, their customers, and this City," Breed said in a statement. "This order builds on their leadership and will help us weather the challenges ahead and keep our businesses open."

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which represents restaurants across the city, supported the decision by the city, saying that requiring proof of vaccination at restaurants "will help ensure more people will choose to receive vaccinations, which is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19."

New York plans to enforce its order through fines beginning in September. Breed said members of the city health department will make checks but expects widespread compliance from businesses.

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell and city Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno announced that proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entry for large crowds indoors.

According to the new guidelines, the following businesses will be affected:

  • Indoor dining and drinking such as restaurants, bars, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries and micro distilleries
  • Indoor fitness such as gyms and indoor group fitness centers or individual fitness classes
  • Indoor entertainment and/or performances, indoor sports complexes/stadiums/arenas, concert and music halls
  • Event spaces (hotel ballroom, event venue, reception halls)
  • Pool halls, bowling alleys, indoor play centers, arcades, skating rinks, indoor playgrounds and arcades
  • Adult live performance venues
  • Casinos, racetracks and video poker establishments
  • Indoor amusement facilities

The announcement comes as Louisiana sees record high coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

It was announced earlier this week that New Orleans Saints fans would be required to wear masks inside for games due to Gov. John Bel Edwards's indoor mask mandate.

"Our first priority will always be the health and safety of our fans, employees, game day staff, players and participants," the Saints said in a statement. "The City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana have implemented new rules and regulations for sports and entertainment venues, indoor facilities and large social gatherings. These rules allow for full capacity on gameday, and we must comply with those regulations to safely return to full capacity for the first time in more than a year and a half."

Video above: Mayor Cantrell announces proof of vaccination or negative COVID test requirement for some indoor establishments

The mandate is in place until Sept. 1 and could be extended.

Other businesses such as restaurants and music venues have announced they are requiring proof of vaccination for entry into their establishments.

WDSU contributed to this report.