Berkeley Vaccination Requirements


Vaccination verification of patrons starts Sept. 10; employee vaccination requirement starts Oct. 15

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, September 01, 2021) – A City of Berkeley Health Officer Order issued Wednesday will require employees of certain businesses to be vaccinated while also requiring a portion of those businesses to also verify proof of full vaccination for patrons who are at least 12 years old.

The requirement to verify vaccination of both employees and patrons focuses on indoor environments where airborne droplets or particles containing the virus spread easily because people:

  • remove a face covering, such as to eat or drink in a restaurant, bar, or club
  • breathe at more intense levels in a group, such as a gym, yoga studio or dance class
  • crowd together in groups of 1,000 or more 

The businesses required to verify only employees’ vaccination have greater risks of exposure to an unvaccinated or immune compromised population, such as a pharmacy, dentist’s office, or childcare program.

The three rigorously-tested and FDA-authorized vaccines remain the most powerful of the many tools required to fight the pandemic. Each person vaccinated is less likely to get infected or spread the virus and is also greatly protected against sickness, hospitalization, and death.

“Not only do vaccinations lower each person’s risk of infection and sickness, they increase our entire community’s safety,” said City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, who issued the order.

These requirements add a critical layer of safety in places of higher risk, which are even more risky given the quickly spreading, highly infectious Delta Variant. Face coverings are already required indoors in public settings throughout the Bay Area. The state has already required employee vaccination or testing in a variety of environments, such as for state workers, health care workers and schools

By Sept. 10, sites to require patron vaccine verification

Starting Sept. 10, businesses, non-profits and other organizations engaged in the following activities must require proof of full vaccination and a photo ID before a patron may enter any indoor area:

  • Places serving food or drinks, such as restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, and entertainment venues. 
  • Places where patrons do cardiovascular, aerobic, strength training, or other exercise involving elevated breathing, including gyms, recreation centers, fitness clubs, and strength training facilities.
  • Large indoor events of 1,000 people or more – except where tickets were sold before September 3, 2021

These venues must check all patrons who are at least 12-years-old to show proof of “full vaccination,” which is 14 days after the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine or 14 days after the second shot of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

Venues must check vaccine verification with a photo ID.

Large indoor events with tickets sold before Sept. 3 must still require test results starting Sept. 10

Starting Sept. 10, operators of indoor, thousand-person or more events that sold tickets before Sept. 3 must require all patrons to show proof of vaccination or negative PCR or antigen test results received in the previous 72 hours.

Starting Oct. 15, these venues must solely require proof of vaccination.

Large indoor events of 1,000 people or more that sold tickets before September 3, 2021 are not required to obtain proof of vaccination from patrons until October 15, 2021.

See the full order for details and exceptions.

By Oct. 15, sites where employees must be vaccinated or be tested weekly

Starting October 15, vaccination or weekly testing will be required at Berkeley venues above as well as:

  • Adult care facilities
  • Adult day programs
  • Dental offices
  • Pharmacies
  • Home health care workers and those employing health care workers
  • All public and private childcare facilities

This must include all employees, contractors, and volunteers as well as those custodians, maintenance and other workers who enter those businesses, including after hours.

Those workers who assert a sincerely held religious belief must provide a signed letter under penalty of perjury. Those employees who assert a medical condition must provide a letter signed by a licensed medical provider. In either case, the person would also have to provide negative test results on a weekly basis.

What you can use to verify vaccination status

There are different ways to prove vaccination:

  • A Vaccination Card issued by the CDC or a foreign governmental jurisdiction which includes the name of the person vaccinated, the type of vaccine provided, and the date(s) the dose or doses were administered;
  • A photo or copy of a Vaccination Card either as a hardcopy or stored on a phone or electronic device;
  • Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider;
  • A personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record issued via or that of another state, local, or foreign government; or
  • An authentic digital record that includes a QR code that when scanned by a SMART Health Card reader accurately displays to the reader client name, date of birth, vaccine dates and vaccine type.

Use all tools to fight the pandemic

While these requirements focus on certain businesses due to the risk of spread, these and other tools can voluntarily be taken on by any business or organization. The safer a workplace becomes, the more likely they are to avoid an outbreak and stay open.

Vaccinations remain easy to find throughout the region. Reach out to your healthcare provider or visit, which lists appointments open to everyone – including other providers.

“We have in our hands an array of powerful tools to fight the pandemic,” said Dr. Hernandez, the City Health Officer. “When each one of us gets vaccinated, uses a mask, avoids crowds, stays home when sick or uses other tools, we become safer as a community.”