Los Angeles City Council Approves Sweeping Vaccine Ordinance for Indoor Establishments
Following New York City and San Francisco, Los Angeles is the latest city to require proof of vaccination for individuals entering indoor portions of establishments. This ordinance, which the Los Angeles City Council approved in an 11-to-2 vote, takes effect November 4, 2021. However, beginning October 21, 2021, the ordinance requires businesses and City facilities to display an “advisory notice” informing patrons that, beginning on November 4, 2021, they must provide proof of vaccination in order to enter any indoor portion of the business.
Establishments covered under the ordinance include those where food or beverages are served, gyms and fitness venues, entertainment and recreation venues, personal care establishments and City buildings. Proof of vaccination, or a negative Covid-19 test, will also be required of those attending outdoor events with 5,000 or more individuals. Proof of vaccination must be cross-checked against photo identification for each patron who appears to be 18 years of age or older.
A patron may be exempted from vaccination requirements due to medical or religious reasons if the patron provides a “self-attestation” that he or she has a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief. Upon receipt of an applicable self-attestation, businesses must allow the patron to use any outdoor portion of the business. If no outdoor portion is available, a patron with an exemption may be permitted indoors by providing proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test and accompanying photo identification. Patrons who have no proof of vaccination or exemption can still utilize outdoor portions of a business or enter indoors briefly to use the restroom or pick up a takeout order, but must wear a mask.
Business owners who fail to abide by this ordinance will be warned after the first violation, fined $1,000 for the second violation, fined $2,000 for the third violation and fined $5,000 for subsequent violations. Fines will be assessed starting November 29, 2021. There are still questions about which agency will enforce the ordinance.