San Francisco In-N-Out Shut Down After Refusing to Check Customers’ Vaccination Status

- NTD - Isabel van Brugen - OCT 20, 2021 -

A driver pulls into the drive-thru lane at an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Alhambra, Calif., on Aug. 30, 2018. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

An In-N-Out in San Francisco on Oct. 14 became the first restaurant to be shut down by the city’s health department for refusing to ask customers to present evidence showing they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Fisherman’s Wharf branch of the fast-food chain was closed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health for violating a mandate issued by the city in August that requires individuals dining indoors to be fully vaccinated. The requirements went into effect on Aug. 20.

“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 city’s health department said in a statement of the closure, noting that the burger chain had been asked to comply on Sept. 24 following a complaint from a member of the public to the city.

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

The branch has since reopened but for takeout only, the New York Times reported.

Responding to the closure, Arnie Wensinger, chief legal & business officer for the In-N-Out chain, in a statement to several media outlets called the city’s vaccination requirement an “intrusive, improper, and offensive” governmental “overreach.”


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