A day after health officials started discussing the possibility of lifting the city’s mask mandate due to improving COVID transmission rates, the Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to approve a stricter vaccine mandate. Beginning November 4, people will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID to enter indoor restaurants, bars, shopping centers, hair and nail salons, movie theaters, concert venues, and many other establishments.
The council was scheduled to vote on the ordinance last week, but postponed after Councilmember Joe Buscaino said he was going to withhold his vote due to concerns about how the law would be enforced, the Los Angeles Times reports. In the end, Buscaino voted against the ordinance at Wednesday’s meeting after the council didn’t second his motion to make several amendments to the ordinance, including one to make it a criminal offense to harass or intimidate an employee attempting to enforce the law.
The ordinance passed 11-2, with Councilman John Lee joining Buscaino with a dissenting vote.
Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to sign the mandate into law, spokesman Harrison Wollman told the Times.
According to the new law, businesses must require proof of vaccination when patrons enter indoor facilities at restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers, bowling alleys, tattoo shops, and a laundry list of other establishments.
Customers can submit written exemptions for religious or medical reasons, but businesses must require those people to use outdoor facilities, unless they can show proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours if no outdoor facilities are available. However, customers who don’t have proof of vaccination, exemption, or a negative COVID test can still use the bathroom or pick up a takeout order.
Businesses that violate the city’s mandate will face incremental penalties, which start with a warning for the first violation, then a $1,000 penalty for the second warning, $2,000 for a third warning, and finally $5,000 for a fourth or subsequent violation, according to the mandate. Enforcement will begin on November 29.
Below is a full list of venues in which proof of vaccination is required under the new mandate:
- Establishments where food or beverages are severed including restaurants bars, fast food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias, food courts, breweries, wineries, distilleries, banquet halls, and hotel ballrooms.
- Gyms and fitness venues including recreation facilities, fitness studios (including for yoga, pilates, dance, and barre), boxing gyms, fitness boot camps, and other facilities that hold indoor group fitness classes.
- Entertainment and recreation venues including movie theaters, music and concert venues, shopping centers, live performance venues, adult entertainment venues, commercial event and party venues, sports arenas, convention centers, exhibition halls, museums, malls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, card rooms, family entertainment centers, pool and billiard halls, play areas, and other recreational game centers.
- Personal care establishments including spas, nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons, estheticians, skin care, tattoo shops, piercing shops, and massage therapy locations unless medically required.
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