Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, announced on Sept. 15 it would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at bars, nightclubs, breweries, lounges, and related businesses.
The order will also require vaccine proof or a negative COVID-19 test for large outdoor events, including Los Angeles Rams, Chargers, and Dodgers games, said County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer to the Board of Supervisors. Would-be customers will have to have at least one vaccine dose by Oct. 7 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4, she said.
“This is a reasonable path forward that will position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges,” Ferrer told the board. “This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk of transmission and increase vaccination coverage.”
Los Angeles officials, she said, now believe that vaccine passport systems “are now a very important strategy for quickly raising vaccination coverage across our county and ending the pandemic.”
Other than Los Angeles, New York City on Sept. 13 officially implemented its vaccine passport system for restaurants, bars, gyms, and other facilities. Businesses that don’t comply or violate the city ordinances can face fines, said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In California, San Francisco in August also rolled out a vaccine passport mandate for similar establishments. Provinces in Canada as well as France, Switzerland, Israel, and a number of other countries have mandated that people show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, bars, and related businesses, which has drawn protests in Europe.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of New York City on Sept. 13, calling for the city to end its mandate.
“You should have a right to choose whatever you do with your body,” Ricardo Alexander, a public school math and physics teacher, told the rally.
While officials who endorse vaccine passports say they are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, questions have been raised about whether such systems would be discriminatory.
Some Republican governors, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have signed bills or issued orders to prohibit businesses or local governments from using vaccine passes.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation nonprofit, in a lengthy post last month, stated that government officials around the world have made grave errors when rolling out passport systems, noting that “imposing such systems on the world will lock out hundreds of millions of people” from key services, including travel and obtaining visas.
“These new trust-based systems, if implemented in a way that automatically disqualifies people who received genuine vaccinations, will cause dire effects for years to come. It sets up a world where certain people can move about easily, and those who have already had a hard time with visas will experience another wall to climb,” the foundation stated.