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City Council Approves New Ordinance Requiring Proof of Vaccination for Indoor Venues

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In an 11-2 vote, the Los Angeles City Council has voted to approve a new ordinance requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before entering a host of indoor venues, including—but not limited to—restaurants, movie theaters, shopping centers, gyms and beauty salons.

Under the new ordinance—which Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he will sign into law— businesses must require proof of vaccination when customers enter indoor facilities starting on November 4.

The ordinance will also apply to city facilities, though alternate arrangements for access to government services, including online access or a recent negative test to gain entry to an indoor facility.

The new rule will allow for written exemptions for religious or medical reasons, but in those cases, businesses will have to require that those customers use outdoor facilities or show evidence of a recent negative COVID-19 test if outdoor facilities are not available. Customers may be allowed to enter briefly to pick up takeout orders or use the restroom. 

Those businesses opting to ignore the ordinance will face escalating penalties ranging from a warning for the first violation and $1000 for a second violation to $5000 for a fourth violation, with enforcement of the penalties slated to begin on November 29.

Those in opposition to the new ordinance argued that the restrictions would put many L.A. businesses at a competitive disadvantage, while also pointing to the confusion that might be caused by L.A. County’s vaccination mandates.

The ordinance does not apply to grocery stores and pharmacy. Below is a list what establishments the ordinance would apply to: 

  • 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 facilities that hold indoor group fitness classes.
  • Entertainment and recreation venues including movie theaters, shopping centers, concert venues, 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 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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