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San Francisco Bars, Restaurants Abuzz After Proof Of COVID Vaccination Restrictions Lifted

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Friday was the first night restaurants, bars and gyms in San Francisco no longer had to ask for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter indoors.

Many bars and restaurants in North Beach were bustling with activity and signs of life. Acquolina on Stockton street said it took down proof of vaccination signs that were once displayed at the front of the Italian restaurant.

"The difference is psychological," said co-owner Dario Nicotra. "People feel like they're scared, but when you lift - people say oh okay."

Nicotra said it wasn't a big deal for his staff to check vaccination cards, but he could feel a sense of ease among diners and workers with the requirement dropped.

"It's nice to kind of see the world get back to what it was pre-pandemic," said Kato, a San Francisco resident. "It feels kind of foreign, frankly. That's exciting, but on a broader level, I think I actually think we're actually going to be right back here, to wearing masks and vax cards and all that in like a month or two."

For now, Kato is enjoying the night out at the Bottle Club Pub on Geary near Union Square. The bar officially opened for the first time this week after two years of development.

"I will say as far as it being open today and we don't have to check 'em, there's a new air to the city, you can feel like the liveliness, people are coming back, conventions are coming back and we're really excited to be a part of that in a brand new space," said General Manager Jayson Wilde.

Wilde said it's one less task for his bartenders or hosts to do, which will improve service for customers.

"The pandemic is definitely not over, we're in a pause, it's like hitting the pause button on the stereo and we take the good times when we have it," said UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. "We don't know when the next disruption will be."

Scientists have found a handful of cases of the new "Deltacron" variant in Europe and in the US.

"I think many people don't believe that it's going to take over the landscape. It's been around since January, still nothing has happened."

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