Residents shared mixed feelings after the city of Los Angeles approved one of the strictest COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the country on Oct. 6, requiring anyone aged 12 or above to provide proof of vaccination to enter indoor venues such as indoor restaurants, movie theaters, salons, shopping centers, and more.
As the mandate becomes effective in November, The Epoch Times interviewed residents and visitors at Manhattan Beach, California, pier about their opinions on the new policy. Out of seven people interviewed, two of them opposed the mandate.
Alejandra, a resident in the city of Los Angeles, said she completely disagreed with the mandate because people in the United States should have the right to make decisions about their own health. She emphasized that she would need more time to understand the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine to decide on whether to get the vaccine or not.
“I think this is a very authoritarian regime here in California. I believe people have the right and parents and everybody to make the best decisions. Vaccinations should not be something that you force people to have,” Alejandra told The Epoch Times.
“I just encourage everybody not to go to a restaurant that’s making the mandate. There are much better restaurants everywhere that will be open, or just takeout and delivery, or eat at home. We need to stand against this type of ridiculous policies that are oppressing us every day more.”
Others were in favor of the mandate and think it’s absolutely necessary to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Henry Hanock, a Manhattan Beach resident who is fully vaccinated, said he supports the mandate because there is indisputable medical evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines in controlling COVID-19. Hanock believes the pandemic is no different than a wildfire and thinks the public interest should be placed before the individual.
“The public interest and eliminating [the virus] overrides any one person’s opinion, and perhaps misinformation about any potential risks for vaccination,” Hancock told The Epoch Times.
Livio, who is also a resident of Los Angeles, said he wants to see more consistency with government policies. He claimed that he was inundated with information.
“I’m getting more and more confused … the efficacy of the vaccine and why booster should we be required and who should get the booster,” Livio told The Epoch Times. “One is required to have a deeper and maybe even more scientific knowledge of what the vaccine does and what it is.”
Nick Haretakis, a waiter at a local restaurant near Manhattan Beach, said he liked the policy because it at least provides an option for people who aren’t vaccinated to go places with a negative COVID-19 test.
Haretakis worried that businesses wouldn’t comply with the mandate. “I think this policy will only be effective if they can properly enforce it, and that seems like a difficult task. It will probably be at its best for fining businesses who disregard this law altogether.”