Los Angeles is set to enact some of the strictest national COVID-19 vaccine screening rules Monday, covering a wide range of indoor and retail outlets.
The requirement is much broader than the Los Angeles County rules in the last month.
Officials say requiring customers to document vaccination status as a precondition for patronage of select businesses will help reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in high-risk environments.
Los Angeles County has demonstrated strict adherence to its more restrictive regulation during public health inspections. But both the county and the city say they will focus on education and awareness first, rather than quotes and fines, to make sure businesses are aware of and comply with the new regulations.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The city of Los Angeles now requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter closed restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas, hair and nail salons, cafes, gyms, museums, bowling alleys, concert venues and other venues.
- Attendees to outdoor events with 5,000 or more people will also be required to show proof of being vaccinated or recently tested negative for coronavirus.
- City regulations allow exceptions for religious or medical reasons. However, businesses should require these customers to use open facilities or show evidence of a recent negative coronavirus test so that they can go inside if there is no open area. Customers who do not have proof of vaccination or exemption from vaccination can still briefly walk in to use the toilet or pick up a takeout order, as per the ordinance.
- Los Angeles also requires proof of vaccination to enter closed city facilities, although unvaccinated people will be given “alternative measures to access government services,” which may include online or outdoor services or providing a negative test to enter closed facilities …
- Companies or establishments that violate the rules will be subject to fines – first a warning, then a series of fines ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 5,000 for a fourth or subsequent violation.
- The city’s SafePassLA program will officially begin no earlier than November 29.
“This is not done to punish business. Our businesses can’t afford another stop, ”said Los Angeles City Council President Nuri Martinez. “This is to limit transmission of the virus and save lives.”
Dan Halden, City Council Spokesman Mitch O’Farrell, who was one of the councilors who first proposed the interior space requirements, added: “There is widespread support for this measure and we are optimistic that compliance will be met as the requirements will take effect. … “
During the pandemic, health officials often stressed the importance of taking a tiered approach to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Plant-based testing of vaccines is one way to achieve this overall goal, health officials said. And the state needs to use all the tools at its disposal in anticipation of a decisive winter holiday season.
There are already signs that the state is seeing a surge in coronavirus transmission, although it remains to be seen how significant this will ultimately be.
Over the past week, the state has reported an average of 6,040 new coronavirus cases per day, up about 9% from two weeks ago, according to data compiled by The Times.
Meanwhile, the number of hospital admissions declined after a steady decline. On Saturday, 3,793 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, which has remained largely unchanged since late October.
While health officials generally believe the state is in a better position to ward off a significant winter surge, given how many people have been vaccinated, they continue to stress that getting more people to roll up their sleeves is the best way to prevent a pandemic.
“Vaccinated and unvaccinated people cannot afford to think that they are on opposite sides here. We’re all on the people’s side, ”said Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “And as a community, we share the goal of avoiding another winter surge. So let’s help each other in this. “