It is an announcement that is garnering divided reactions from residents: You are no longer required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test at most indoor locations in San Francisco and the city of Berkeley beginning Friday. 

This includes businesses serving food and drink, such as restaurants and bars, and places where elevated breathing occurs, such as gyms and fitness studios, public health officials said.

However, local businesses can choose to ask staff and clients to have proof of vaccination or  negative test. They can opt to be more restrictive than local city health guidelines. 

The cities are still requiring that you show proof of vaccination or a negative test at large indoor events of 1,000 people or more.

San Francisco was the first city in the nation to require proof of vaccination before entering indoor businesses, and it’s lifting the mandate as cases and hospitalizations go down. The city’s seven-day average was 110 cases per day on March 1, compared with 1,346 cases per day on Jan. 1.  The city’s seven-day average was 105 new cases per day on March 3, compared to 1,531 new cases per day a month ago. 

“With cases and hospitalizations continuing to fall and our high vaccination rate providing a strong defense against the virus, San Francisco is ready to further reduce COVID-19 restrictions and allow individuals to make their own decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip said in a statement released on Wednesday. “The proof of vaccination and testing requirements served their purpose in keeping these spaces as safe as possible for staff and patrons. Rolling it back is part of coming out of crisis mode and learning to live with the virus.”