An increase in COVID cases has resulted in some California bars and restaurants now requiring customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
This is mostly happening in Los Angeles where the county’s mask tenure has been reinstated.
Most of the customers we spoke with in San Diego support the idea, but most business owners said they didn’t want to take on the added burden and said it could actually hurt their business.
For more than four decades, DZ Akin’s – known for its Wall of Fame – has survived the ups and downs.
âOf all the things we thought we had to plan for, I don’t think we ever planned for a pandemic,â said owner Elan Akin. “We never planned for plexiglass everywhere.”
But now the owners are trying to decide what else they can do to be part of the solution.
Concerns about a spike in COVID-19 cases and the highly transmissible Delta variant have some bars and restaurants – mostly in Los Angeles – refusing unvaccinated ones unless customers test negative within 72 hours.
âWe certainly never signed up for this pandemic and we certainly never signed up to be the COVID police,â Akin said.
DZ Akin’s, along with other establishments in San Diego, told NBC 7 that they are not as keen on joining this movement to demand immunization cards, but see the need for more protection.
âAs we’ve seen the number of cases increase, we know there are definitely possibilities ahead, like additional mask warrants or other protocols put in place just to protect us,â Akin said. âWe are not yet requiring people to bring their vaccination records. We always go out of the honor system. Many clients still wear masks of their choice, those who have been vaccinated as well. “
So, in the meantime, instead of turning people down, Akin is hoping more people will get vaccinated or keep their masks on.
According to the state’s health department, the significant increase in COVID-19 cases is mainly due to the unvaccinated.
San Diego resident David Baker said he had not received the vaccine but would not mind if he was prevented from enjoying his favorite meal.
âI’m an easy going guy, so I would just go a different place, but I guess a lot of people would get mad,â Baker said.
San Diego County recently reported 22 new community outbreaks in 10 restaurants and bars – which adds to the question – will San Diego at least need masks regardless of vaccine status?
David Payne is vaccinated and works in construction.
âI think forcing restaurants to do this is going to hurt their businesses. A lot of people won’t be able to go, but DoorDash and all that stuff is going to have more businesses. “
The owner of Nicolosi’s in the Gaslamp neighborhood said he was already short of staff and didn’t want to ask them to take charge of checking people’s immunization status. They are also concerned that people will use fake vaccination cards or cancel important bookings because a member of their group cannot attend.
âJust be smart. If you are not vaccinated, keep this mask on just to make sure nothing is spread, âAkin said.