LA approves customer vaccine mandate at restaurants, bars, gyms

LA approves customer vaccine mandate at restaurants, bars, gyms
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The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that will require customers to show proof of vaccination before entering venues such as indoor restaurants, gyms and salons.

As the regional California news wire City News Service reported, the ordinance will go into effect beginning on Nov. 4 and is believed to be one of the strictest COVID-19 vaccine-related mandates in the U.S. Bars, gyms, entertainment venues and shopping centers will all be subject to this new requirement.

The new ordinance does not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies.

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Enforcement of the new rule will go into effect beginning on Nov. 29, according to City News Service. Businesses that violate the order will be fined $1,00 for a second offense, $2,000 for a third and $5,000 for a fourth.

The city department that will enforce this ordinance has not yet been determined, but the Department of Building and Safety was noted as being the most relevant. However, the department does not have the necessary staffing to enforce the rule.

Exceptions to the mandate will be made for people with medical conditions that preclude them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine as well as those with a "sincerely held religious belief." Exempt individuals will be permitted to use the outdoor space of a business if available or may be allowed in if they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Officials in Los Angeles have issued some of the most strict vaccine requirements in the U.S., enacting vaccine mandates for health care workers and students.

Los Angeles County recently issued a health order requiring workers at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4.

Last month, the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to require all eligible students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by early next year.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said later in September that officials were considering a vaccine mandate for all children aged 12 and up in order to return to school.

“That conversation is part of what we’re considering as a state, but no definitive action is being made at the moment,” Ghaly told reporters. “It’s been a long conversation about vaccines in schools and their role in protecting students."

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 78 percent of eligible county residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 69 percent are fully vaccinated.