With cases of COVID-19 rising rapidly, at least two local bar owners are taking extra precautions, requiring everyone who visits to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.
Owners say their new rules put the health of their staff and customers first, but not everyone believes this is the right requirement for customers.
The owner of Splash, a gay bar and nightclub in Fresno's Tower District, said some of his employees weren't spared. Several recently tested positive for COVID-19.
"We just kind of felt that it wasn't going to get better anytime soon, that if we kept doing things the way that we're doing things, that people would keep getting sick," said TJ Bruce, owner of Splash.
So, on Friday, Splash made an announcement on social media: Starting Monday, August 2, they will require proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to visiting.
"If they just don't want to get vaccinated, that certainly is a personal decision, but it wouldn't hurt them to get tested if they want to go out for the night," said Bruce.
Splash will be checking for one or the other at the door.
The owner of SPLASH says they decided to implement the new rules after Covid cases started rising and several employees tested positive. He says this move is about the health and safety of his staff and customers. @ABC30 pic.twitter.com/CohCLyGSdH— Jessica Harrington (@JessicaABC30) July 31, 2021
Alibi, a gay bar in East Central Fresno, is implementing the same requirements starting Tuesday.
"We want to make sure our community is taken care of. That means being realistic that the cases are going back up and the best way to beat this virus is by getting vaccinated," said Alibi's lead bartender Trent Cross.
Cross said by doing this, Alibi is putting the customers first and the business second.
"Fortunately, here, our response has been very positive," Cross said.
But not every business is on board.
Lewis Everk, the owner of Vyxn Restaurant and Lounge in Northeast Fresno, sent the following statement to ABC30:
"Vyxn is not in the business of telling people how to live their lives. We are a place to come to and celebrate life with friends and loved ones. By now, everyone is aware of this virus and available vaccines. We are not going to require our customers to provide any personal medical information to a restaurant or bar.
We have confidence in our community to do what's right for themselves and their neighbors."
For bars Splash and Alibi, the businesses say by including these requirements, they hope it will encourage more people to get vaccinated.