LA City Council adopts vaccination mandate for restaurants, bars, gyms and indoor malls – Daily News


On Wednesday, October 6, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring people to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination before entering restaurants, bars, gyms, malls, entertainment venues and establishments personal care.

The board voted 11-2 to adopt the term, with board members John Lee and Joe Buscaino dissenting.

“Vaccinating more Angelenos is our only way out of this pandemic, and we must do everything in our power to continue to increase these numbers,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was due to sign the ordinance on Wednesday. “These new rules will encourage more people to get vaccinated and make businesses safer for workers and customers – so we can save more lives, better protect vulnerable people, and make our communities even safer as we fight.” against this pandemic. ”

“We have spent too much time placing restrictions on people who have done their part by getting vaccinated and wearing their masks,” Council Chairman Nury Martinez said in a statement last week. “We must both limit the transmission of the virus and make it difficult for those who are not vaccinated to access indoor sites and put lives at risk. The stakes are too high. “

Companies will begin checking vaccination status on November 4 and full application of the warrant will begin on November 29 for all spaces, according to a statement from Martinez. The schedule, Martinez said, aligns with the revised county health ordinance released on September 17. Penalties will range from a warning for a first offense to $ 5,000 for a fourth offense. The Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Building and Security are responsible for enforcing the new rules, the statement said.

The ordinance applies to establishments that serve food or drink, gymnasiums and fitness rooms, places of entertainment and recreation, including cinemas, shopping malls and personal care establishments.

Retail establishments, including grocery stores and pharmacies, are not included in the prescription.

The chief legislative analyst told council members on September 29 that the city does not yet have a department chosen to implement the ordinance, but has identified the building and security department as the most relevant.

But this department does not have the staff to enforce the law. Compliance enforcement would begin on November 29, and businesses that violate the order would be fined $ 1,000 for its second violation, $ 2,000 for a third violation and $ 5,000 for a fourth violation.

People would be exempt from the warrant if they have any medical conditions that restrict their ability to be vaccinated or a “sincere religious belief,” which will be examined by where the person is trying to enter.

Exempted people could use the exterior areas of the location, but if they are not available, they may be allowed to enter the interior area by providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

The order would also require people to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend outdoor events with 5,000 or more people, which would be more stringent than the LA County requirement, which applies to outdoor events with 10,000 or more people.

The ordinance would be similar to the policies of West Hollywood, New York and San Francisco. West Hollywood’s policy requiring adult customers entering many domestic businesses to submit proof of at least partial vaccination is effective October 7, with full vaccination required from November 4.

The mask’s mandate debate came as the rate of COVID-19 transmission continued to decline in the county as the number of vaccinations continued to gradually increase – likely spurred by current and upcoming vaccination requirements.

The county public health director said on Tuesday (October 5) that she can schedule a time when residents no longer need to wear masks in most indoor environments. But dropping the county’s mask-wearing mandate will depend on continued decline in transmission, more widespread vaccinations, and the absence of potentially more virulent strains of the coronavirus.

As Los Angeles County continues to see the number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 and other metrics decline, the rate of vaccination of residents remains relatively stagnant, and Ferrer has warned that the pandemic will only end if this pace is accelerating.

“I’m very much aware that when we introduced the mask mandate in June, we noted that it was really related to increased transmission and the feeling that we needed to add another layer of protection,” the director of public health, Barbara Ferrer, on the supervisory board. . “And I think we did the right thing. But I’m also aware that when we have very low transmission and more people are vaccinated, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to keep that mask mandate everywhere, assuming of course we don’t have a dangerous variant. from which we must protect ourselves.

As of September 30, 78% of eligible Los Angeles County residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 69% are fully immunized. Of the county’s total population of 10.3 million people, including those not yet eligible for vaccines, 67% have received at least one dose and 60% are fully vaccinated, according to Ferrer.

City News Service contributed to this report

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