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LA Becomes Latest Major City To Consider A Vaccine Requirement For Indoor Spaces

A pharmacist wearing a white lab coat, a clear plastic face shield and a face mask with the logo for UCI Health holds up a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Los Angeles could become the next major city to require vaccines for individuals using indoor spaces like restaurants, bars, and gyms.
(Chava Sanchez
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Los Angeles might become the latest city to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter indoor businesses and public spaces, following similar requirements in New York City and Palm Springs.

On Wednesday, L.A. City Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Mitch O’Farrell announced a motion to require proof of COVID vaccination to enter indoor public spaces in the city of L.A.

The motion would instruct the city attorney to present an ordinance that would require all Angelenos eligible to have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine to enter indoor spaces. These would include restaurants, bars, retail stores, gyms, spas, concert venues, and movie theaters.

“So many Angelenos stepped up and did their part. They shouldn’t be penalized with closures by those unwilling to do theirs,” wrote Councilmemeber Martinez in a Tweet Wednesday.

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The ordinance would only require that people show proof of at least a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

The motion was introduced in response to rising positive COVID case numbers in L.A. due to the delta variant. In July, the CDC reported a 70% increase in new daily cases and a 36% increase in hospitalizations nationwide. In L.A. County, new daily positive cases have topped 2,800 each day for the past week.

As of Aug. 2, over 70% of Angelenos have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

This comes on the tail of L.A. County mandating vaccinationsfor all county employees by Oct. 1.

This proposed ordinance is similar to the one announced for New York City last week, which requires patrons of indoor businesses to show proof of at least a single dose of vaccination starting Aug. 16.

In New York, people will be able to confirm they are vaccinated by showing their physical CDC vaccine card or by using the city’s NYC Safe App or New York State’s Excelsior pass, two digital vaccine card options.

The city is also giving a grace period of sorts, waiting until Sept. 13 to officially enforce any rules. This ordinance also will not apply to outdoor dining spaces.

Palm Springs Votes On Vaccination/Negative Test Requirement

While New York City is the biggest United States city to implement a vaccine requirement of this kind, other Southern California cities are beginning to impose their own requirements. On Wednesday, the Palm Springs City Council unanimously approved their own vaccine requirement for indoor spaces.

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The Palm Springs ordinance will require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past 72 hours to enter restaurants, bars, and other indoor spaces.

Establishments will have three weeks to implement the requirement and like the New York City ordinance, will not apply to outdoor dining spaces.

While a precise timeline remains unclear and the motion is pending city attorney approval, if implemented in L.A., the requirement might look similar to that of New York City or Palm Springs.

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