Refusing to be a ‘Vaccination Police’, Burger Restaurant in San Francisco is closed

Hamburger franchise In-N-Out was furious after San Francisco banned it from serving dine-in for refusing to check customers’ vaccination status. The restaurant’s sole location on Fisherman’s Wharf was temporarily closed by the Department of Public Health on October 14.

Authorities say the restaurant refuses to ban customers from eating in unless they can show proof of vaccination. Those are the conditions set by the city in California, and take effect August 20.

In-N-Out ignored repeated warnings to enforce vaccination rules, the department said. He said the mandate was for public health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In-N-Out Burger franchise restaurant sign in California, June 8, 2010.

In-N-Out Burger franchise restaurant sign in California, June 8, 2010.

“We refuse to be the vaccination police for any government,” Arnie Wensinger, the franchise’s head of legal and business, said in a statement. Requiring customers to show proof of vaccination, said In-N-Out, is a disruptive and offensive act that would compel it to discriminate against customers.

The burger restaurant on site has finally reopened but not for dine-in. San Francisco Mayor London Breed stressed the need for public safety.

“None of us ever thought we’d be living in a global pandemic, where hundreds of thousands of people died from COVID. So what we’re trying to do is reopen, try to keep people safe, and this is a public health crisis.”

In-N-Out is the only restaurant in San Francisco to be closed for violating the mandate. [ka/ab]

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