Berkeley's proof of vaccination mandate goes into effect
BERKELEY, Calif. - It's the first Friday where anyone visiting certain businesses in the city of Berkeley is required to show their vaccination status.
It is the second Bay Area city to do so, following San Francisco's lead.
Anyone over the age of 12 must show their card to go inside restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters.
Playing pool at Spats in downtown Berkeley means having to show proof of being fully vaccinated.
"Personally, I like it 'cause I want everybody to be vaccinated," says customer Adam Beshir who says he's playing pool with his friends at the bar for the first time in a year due to the pandemic.
Berkeley's health order mandates businesses including bars, gyms and restaurants providing indoor services, to require vaccination proof from customers.
Spats posted a reminder on social media.
"The other ones were like wow, wow, wow almost like expressing really," Spats managing partner Orlando Williams says there has been pushback with people posting negative comments.
"Some are pretty harsh. I understand how people feel about it. But what are we to do as a business in order for us to stay open and operate," says Williams.
At La Marcha restaurant, some customers say they were surprised to learn that proof of vaccination is required to dine inside.
"They told us when we showed up today, so we didn't know when they made the reservation," Jessie Ferguson, a customer from Richmond says, "Our first thought is our daughter is ten and she hasn't been vaccinated so maybe we can't go eat here."
Children under twelve are exempt and so are people buying takeout or dining outdoors.
Still, the owner is concerned there may be a negative impact on business.
"We're all sort of nervous. This is our first Friday really enforcing it," says Sergio Monleon, the restaurant's chef and owner.
Many diners support the vaccine mandate.
"You feel more comfortable coming in. You don't feel like the pressure, oh maybe there's someone here who could have it," says one woman dining with her boyfriend.
"If it allows me to feel safer while I eat, I think it's worth it," says Hamza Ahmadzai of Concord.
Owner Monleon says no cancellations so far, "We're definitely looking at this weekend really carefully to see what the trend is."
Back at Spats, KTVU saw a group being turned away because someone didn't have proof of vaccination.
"We're just trying to operate. We're just trying to stay open to survive through this to see a better day," says Williams.
Business owners say the pandemic has taught them to roll with the punches and shift gears when necessary.