THURSDAY, Oct. 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) — One of the strictest coronavirus vaccine mandates in the United States has been approved in Los Angeles.
The city council on Wednesday voted 11-2 in favor of a measure that requires proof of full vaccination for all customers and staff at bars, restaurants, nail salons, spas, gyms, sports arenas, museums, indoor city facilities and other locations, the Associated Press reported. Customers without proof of vaccination can still use outdoor facilities and can briefly enter a business to use a restroom or pick up a food order. People with religious or medical exemptions from vaccination will have to provide negative coronavirus tests within 72 hours of entry.
The ordinance was signed Wednesday afternoon by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and takes effect in the nation’s second-most populous city on Nov. 4, the AP reported.
“Vaccinating more Angelenos is our only way out of this pandemic, and we must do everything in our power to keep pushing those numbers up,” Garcetti said in a statement. “These new rules will encourage more people to get the shot, and make businesses safer for workers and customers — so that we can save more lives.”
A growing number of places across the country, including San Francisco and New York City, are requiring proof of vaccination to enter various types of businesses and venues.
In San Francisco, proof of vaccination for staff and patrons has been required since Aug. 20 in indoor places where food or drink is consumed, where aerobic exercise occurs such as gyms, and where large groups gather such as entertainment venues.
This summer, New York City began requiring proof of vaccination to dine inside restaurants and bars, or to enter certain types of public places, including museums, theaters, gyms, indoor sports arenas and concert halls.
In Los Angeles, some opponents say the vaccine mandate is unenforceable, and others say it segregates those who can’t or won’t be vaccinated, the AP reported.
Business trade groups have said the city mandate will sow confusion because Los Angeles County’s own vaccine rules — which apply both in Los Angeles and in dozens of surrounding communities — are less sweeping.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on vaccine mandates.