Los Angeles considering requiring coronavirus vaccines for indoor activities

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Los Angeles city officials are considering whether to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to participate in public indoor activities, including visiting gyms and dining at restaurants. 

City council President Nury Martinez (D) and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (D) unveiled legislation on Wednesday seeking to put in place an ordinance that would “require eligible individuals to have received at least one dose of vaccination to enter indoor spaces.” 

The motion lists among the covered indoor locations restaurants, bars, retail stores, fitness centers, spas and venues like stadiums and movie theaters. 

In a statement announcing the proposal, Martinez said, “So many Angelenos stepped up and did their part” by getting vaccinated, adding that they “shouldn’t be penalized with closures by those unwilling to do theirs.” 

“Enough is enough already,” she said. “Hospital workers are exhausted, moms who have put aside their careers are tired, and our kids cannot afford the loss of another school year.” 

“We have three vaccines that work and are readily available, so what’s it going to take?” she questioned. 

The bill specifically cites the rise in the highly transmissible delta variant, which has fueled deadly outbreaks of the virus among unvaccinated communities across the country and prompted Los Angeles County to reissue an indoor mask mandate for all residents last month. 

Elected officials across the country are now hoping vaccination requirements will push those who have remained hesitant to get a shot to do so quickly. 

On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said proof of vaccination would be required for both workers and customers at restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses and activities. 

De Blasio said in a press conference announcing the plans, officially called the “Key to NYC Pass” program, that it was “time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary for living a good, full and healthy life.” 

“If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things,” he added. 

O’Farrell said in a tweet announcing the new Los Angeles proposal that “Hard-working Angelenos, their customers, and the general public deserve to be safe in public spaces.” 

On Tuesday, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer (D), who is running for mayor, sent a letter to the LA County Board of Supervisors urging them to require proof of vaccination for indoor activities, commending the similar action taken by de Blasio. 

“Federal officials, including the Centers for Disease Control, have called the resurgence in COVID-19 a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated,'” Feuer wrote. “I urge the County to take this commonsense public health and safety action immediately, allowing for a brief period before it would take full effect.”

Tags Bill de Blasio California Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC coronavirus pandemic Delta variant LA city council Los Angeles vaccination rate vaccine requirements

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