LA Wants to Mandate Proof of Vaccinations at Public Establishments

Mandate would apply to restaurants, retail establishments, fitness centers, as well as entertainment centers and movie theaters

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With cases on the rise, Los Angeles lawmakers want all public indoor establishments to require their guests to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The delta variant appears to be about 225 percent more transmissible than the original, according to an NPR report. Just yesterday, L.A. County health officials said they saw 3,734 new cases of COVID-19.

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City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a motion to require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations when dining indoors or frequenting businesses like gyms. The motion would cover restaurants, bars, retail establishments, fitness centers and spas, as well as entertainment centers like stadiums, concert venues and movie theaters. The motion would only apply to the city of L.A.

“Enough is enough already,” Martinez 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?” 

As of Aug. 2, 71.7 percent of county residents aged 16 and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

“Our kids are about to return to school and the unvaccinated are putting their lives at risk every day,” Martinez added. “Ask your questions, talk to your doctor, and get the vaccine. Let’s put this behind us.”

City Attorney Mike Feuer also issued a letter to the County Board of Supervisors, urging them “to require proof of vaccination for certain indoor activities, including dining in restaurants, exercising in gyms, and attending public performances and events.” 

Feuer pointed to the City of New York taking similar action, and said L.A. County should, too.

“Federal officials, including the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention], have called the resurgence in COVID-19 a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated,’” Feuer wrote. “Principally because many county residents refuse to act responsibly and get vaccinated, residents who followed public health advice and received vaccines nonetheless face the risk of breakthrough COVID and now must follow the County’s mandate to wear masks in indoor public venues.”

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.