On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance that will require people to show proof of vaccination against COVID before entering many indoor establishments. According to ABC 7, spaces requiring vaccination proof, starting on November 4, include gyms, indoor restaurants, bars, shopping centers, personal care establishments, and entertainment venues.
The ordinance also comes to win a "strong recommendation" for restaurants. Retail establishments, including grocery stores and pharmacies, are not included in the rule. The ordinance passed Wednesday morning with 11 votes, one vote shy of it passing with an urgency clause, allowing it to take effect immediately.
The city currently requires complete vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter "mega-events," or events with over 10,000 people in attendance, including concerts, sporting events, and indoor bars and nightclubs. Under this current ordinance, customers and employees need to have at least one dose of the vaccine by October 7 and receive their second by November 4.
On September 29, Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso told council members that the city has yet to determine which department will enforce the ordinance but has identified the Department of Building and Safety as the most relevant department. According to ABC 7, that department does not have enough staffing currently to enforce the new ordinance.
Enforcement would begin on November 29, with businesses found in violation of the new ordinance being fined $1,000 for its second violation, $2,000 for a third violation and $5,000 for a fourth violation.
Exemptions are allowed for those with medical conditions or those with a "sincerely held religious belief." These exemptions will be reviewed, but the location of which the person is attempting to enter. Those found exempt would be able to use outdoor areas of a location inquisition. Still, if unavailable, they may be allowed to enter the indoor space by providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test, ABC 7 reports.
The new ordinance from Los Angeles mirrors that in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the "Key to NYC Pass" in early August. New Yorkers need to show proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to enter many establishments in NYC, including indoor dining, gyms, concerts, bars, and theatres. The mandate in New York City has gained backlashed from all walks of life, with teachers groups and Black Lives Matter staging large-scale protests in response.