Los Angeles is about to implement one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the nation. On Wednesday, the City Council approved an ordinance requiring proof of vaccination to be shown before entering a long list of indoor public places, KTLA reports. A spokesman said Mayor Eric Garcetti will sign the measure, which is scheduled to take effect Nov. 4. It will apply to anyone 12 or older wanting to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, malls, movie theaters, convention centers, card rooms, museums, play areas, spas, and salons.
Customers will be able to provide written exemptions they've received for religious or medical reasons, under the ordinance, per the Los Angeles Times. But they're supposed to use only outdoor facilities; if none is available, they can show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test and go inside. Customers without any COVID documentation are allowed to step inside to use the restroom or get a takeout order. Businesses can be fined for violations. Los Angeles County has its own set of rules that apply to the city, but California cities can add their own. People are having to show proof of vaccination at large entertainment venues, such as the Hollywood Bowl.
Supporters on the council, which voted 11-2, have answered criticism of a government mandate, saying no one has to get vaccinated if they don't want to. "You have rights. You have liberties. But with those rights and liberties come obligations to protect fellow members of your society as well," said Councilman Paul Krekorian when the issue was discussed late week. Council President Nury Martinez said that with many people in high-risk groups still vulnerable to the virus, and many children too young to be vaccinated: "This is no longer negotiable. The stakes are too high." (Read more vaccine mandate stories.)