West Coast Bars Join 'Vax Coalitions' To Give Customers Some Peace Of Mind

2021-08-07 23:34:20

Bars in Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Francisco have joined together to create “vax coalitions” that will only allow customers inside who can prove they’ve been vaccinated.

15 bars in Portland have already joined the informal “Vaxx Coaliton,” and an additional 20 are expected to sign up Monday, Teardrop Lounge owner Daniel Shoemaker told Willamette Week. At least one of the establishments is requiring proof of vaccination — or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of bellying up to the bar.

Similar groups are already up and running elsewhere on the West Coast. 

Late last month, 300 bars in the San Francisco Bar Owners Alliance announced they would require customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to sit inside. It’s one of the largest pro-vax industry efforts in the nation, Forbes reports.

“We believe we are obligated to protect our workers and their families, and to offer a safe space for customers to relax and socialize,” the alliance told The Associated Press in a statement. 

But the group hopes that requesting proof of vaccination “might also influence some who have not yet received vaccinations” to do so as soon as they can, the statement read.

“We understand that the only way our society (and our businesses) can ever return to true normalcy is through higher rates of vaccinations among our residents,” the alliance added.

Officials report that 69% of San Francisco residents are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The only fallout the groups have reportedly experienced so far is from online anti-vax trolls, many of whom who have flooded internet sites with negative reviews. Part of the reason for the coalitions is to make it harder to single out a bar taking a pro-vax stance, noted Shoemaker.

Elsewhere, cities are taking the initiative to require either vaccinations or negative tests in businesses. 

New York City already passed a a regulation that patrons wishing to enter indoor restaurants, gyms and performance spaces will need to show proof of vaccination, starting Aug. 16.

Los Angeles officials are also considering a policy that would require proof of at least one vaccination to enter indoor businesses.

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