Recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine wait after their shot for 30 minutes before they're cleared to leave.
Recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine wait after their shot for 30 minutes before they're cleared to leave in case there are reactions to the vaccine. Credit: Amir Aziz

Beginning tomorrow, Feb. 1, people are required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination before entering certain businesses in Oakland. 

Businesses covered under the new city ordinance include: 

  • Restaurants, bars, coffee houses, clubs, banquet halls and other establishments where food or drink is served
  • Theaters, concert venues, museums, indoor recreational facilities, and other entertainment venues
  • Gyms, fitness centers, and yoga studios 
  • Senior adult care facilities and other senior centers
  • Large indoor events 

Under the ordinance adopted by the City Council in December, adults must show proof of full vaccination along with an ID that matches their vaccine card. Children ages 12 and older must show proof of vaccination but are not required to provide an ID. Unvaccinated people can still enter the locations if they provide a doctor-verified note and a recent negative test (within 72 hours of entry). 

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, a person must show proof that they’ve received either one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

People entering City Hall may show proof of a recent negative test and a photo ID in lieu of displaying proof of vaccination. The ordinance does not apply to anyone entering City Hall to attend a City Council meeting or other government meeting that is subject to the Brown Act and Sunshine Ordinance.

Patrons are allowed to enter the businesses listed above without showing proof of vaccination to use the restroom, place an order, pick up or pay for food or drinks to go, or perform work as long as they wear a mask at all times while inside, according to the ordinance. 

Businesses are required to visibly post notices for patrons about the new requirements. The city has created a downloadable template poster in multiple languages. 

The City Council unanimously adopted the emergency ordinance at a special meeting on Dec. 21, 2021. You can read the ordinance here

Other cities with their own public health departments like Berkeley and San Francisco have implemented similar rules. Contra Costa County also adopted a similar ordinance last year. Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb introduced the ordinance because Alameda County Health had not done so. 

COVID-19 cases in Alameda County reached record highs in January, a surge powered largely by the omicron variant. Alameda County Health reported 963 cases on Jan. 23, the last date reported, down from 5,961 cases reported on Jan. 4, by far the highest mark of the pandemic. About 80% of Oakland residents are fully vaccinated, while 81.4% of the county’s total population has had two or more doses of the vaccine.

David DeBolt reported on City Hall and policing for The Oaklandside. He spent 12 years working for daily newspapers in the Bay Area, including on the Peninsula and Solano County. He joined the Bay Area News Group in 2012 where he covered a variety of beats, most recently as a senior breaking news reporter. During his time at BANG, DeBolt covered Oakland City Hall, the Raiders stadium saga and the A’s search for a new ballpark, as well as the Oakland Police Department and police reform efforts. He was part of the East Bay Times staff honored with the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.