The City of Oakland is due to become the latest city in California to require vaccine proof to enter restaurants and other similar establishments on Tuesday, leaving many owners worried about increased financial hardships.
The Proof of Vaccination Ordinance, authored by City Councilman Dan Kalb, had been introduced and passed just last month. Under the ordinance, proof of vaccination will be needed for restaurants, bars, coffee houses, and other places where food and drink is served, as well as theaters, concert venues, indoor entertainment venues, gyms, senior facilities, and any large indoor event.
“There are benefits here even if it will temporarily cause someone not to go to their favorite bar,” said Kalb earlier this month. “It’s all done very reasonably and logically. Common-sense logic is really what’s going to rule the way that this is implemented. The ordinance will remain in effect until any state of emergency in the city is lifted. The first time that a restaurant owner or a business or a gym fails to comply, they’ll get a warning letter. And then after that, they’ll be subject to fines.”
Glad to have brought this vital Emergency Ordinance 2 require Proof of Vaccination 4 many #Oakland indoor locations. ThankYou Council colleagues 4 your support.
This #PublicHealth law will ⬆️ vaccinations & reduce
spread.https://t.co/NnroWe9bkh#Covid_19 #CovidVaccine #EastBay
— Dan KALB (@DanKalb) December 22, 2021
While the City Council unanimously voted for the mandate and many businesses are already complying ahead of the Tuesday start date, business owners in Oakland largely voiced concern and disdain for the new ordinance, as many believe it will negatively harm them financially. Orders in other proof mandate areas, such as Los Angeles, have noted not only lost profits but also numerous ways to get around these laws.
“We’re looking to restaurant owners in Berkeley, San Francisco, Concord, LA, and other places this is happening to see what we can do,” said “Tyler,” an Oakland restaurant co-owner, to the Globe on Monday. “We’re finding a lot of ways to barely change and still allow everyone in regardless of mandate status legally. I don’t want to name them, but the things other restaurants told us were pretty incredible and I suspect the law will be updated as soon as they start seeing more and more places adopt them.”
“We’re also scared of losing business from non-vaccinated people, as well as out-of-towners who are much more likely to not be vaccinated. We talked to other restaurant owners that have been hit by similar mandates and they’re seeing business fall 10%, 15%. I mean, even 5% is big for the independent restaurant. If we don’t comply, we are fined and lose money. If we do comply, we lose money from people we have to turn away. Either way, we lose money and no one wants to pay us for how much we lost that isn’t our fault.”
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