LOS ANGELES—Beginning Thursday, Nov. 4, proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for patronizing or working in an indoor bar, winery, brewery, nightclub, or lounge in the Los Angeles County.
However, for non-alcoholic portions of restaurants, the regulation recommends, but does not require, vaccine verification for employees and customers.
The county mandate was introduced in early October, when workers and patrons at such adult-oriented businesses were required to show proof of at least one dose of COVID vaccine. But starting Thursday, everyone has to have proof of full vaccination and present a photo ID.
When the mandate was announced, the county limited the vaccination requirement to adult-oriented establishments that sell alcohol, since they are required to verify customers’ age already, and thus adding a vaccine check should not require additional staffing or be unduly difficult for the businesses, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 8, an even more expansive vaccination-verification ordinance will take effect in the City of Los Angeles.
Excluding grocery stores or pharmacies, the city ordinance will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for entry to indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers, entertainment venues, and personal care establishments.
The city ordinance is believed to be the strictest law of its kind in the country. However, questions still remain on how the city plans to enforce the requirement.
The Department of Building and Safety is considered by city officials to be the most logical agency to enforce the ordinance though it lacks the personnel to do so.
Businesses violating the city ordinance would be issued a $1,000 fine for a second violation, $2,000 fine for a third violation, and a $5,000 fine for a fourth violation.
Additionally, for participants of an outdoor event with 5,000 or more people, the city’s ordinance requires proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours. This is stricter than the county mandate, which applies to outdoor events with 10,000 or more people.
As of Oct. 28, 80 percent of LA County residents aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 72 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the county Department of Public Health.