In-N-Out Burger Was Briefly Closed for Breaking San Francisco Covid Protocols

An In-N-Out in San Francisco has reopened for takeout after being temporarily shut down on Oct. 14 by the city’s department of health for violating Covid-19 health protocols by not checking patrons for proof of vaccination. It is the only restaurant in San Francisco to have been closed over the vaccinate mandate, the health department said in a statement.

San Francisco mandated in August that customers who dine indoors must show proof of full vaccination.

“Vaccination is particularly important in a public indoor setting where groups of people are gathering and removing their masks, factors that make it easier for the virus to spread. That is why San Francisco requires proof of vaccination for indoor dining,” the department said in a statement.

The In-N-Out, located in San Francisco’s popular Fisherman’s Wharf tourist area, has since reopened, but only for takeout.

In-N-Out acknowledged the enforcement violation, but called San Francisco’s indoor vaccination requirement “intrusive, improper, and offensive” governmental “overreach” in a statement from Arnie Wensinger, Chief Legal & Business Officer for the California burger chain.

The department of public health said it asked the restaurant to correct the violations on Sept. 24 after a complaint to the city. Inspectors from the department followed up with the location on Oct. 6 and found that the staff was still not asking patrons for proof of vaccination while dining indoors. Inspectors attempted multiple times to bring the store into compliance, but In-N-Out refused to comply, resulting in a notice of closure.

“The business was instructed to cease all operations on site immediately because of the threat it poses to public health,” the department said.

In-N-Out said the store “properly and clearly” posted signs of local vaccination requirements, but also said it refused to become “the vaccination police for any government,” read the statement from Mr. Wensinger.

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