The Los Angeles city council, which Democrats unsurprisingly run, voted on Wednesday to approve a mandate that will force people to show proof of vaccination before entering indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers, entertainment venues, and personal care establishments.
ABC7 reported that this mandate, which is one of the strictest in the nation, passed today with eleven votes, just one short of the twelve that were needed for it to go into effect immediately. Los Angeles had already required full vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test for “mega-events,” defined as sporting events and concerts attended by more than 10,000 people.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, will now have ten days to decide on whether or not to sign this ordinance. The mandate will go into effect 31 days after he signs it, should he decide to do so, meaning that it will likely be in effect sometime in November. It would be a shock if Garcetti chooses not to sign the ordinance, given that he voiced his support for it just last week.
“I don’t want to bury another city employee, police officer, firefighter,” he said at the time.
City Councilman Joe Buscaino fought against the ordinance, arguing that there is no enforcement measure in place.
“Making a teenager … serve as a bouncer to keep people in or out of a restaurant, and then fining the business for their failure is not the way to go about it,” he said, going on to point out the conflict between the city’s measure and county’s vaccination mandate, which only covers patrons and workers at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, lounges, and nightclubs.
While Councilmen Bob Blumenfield, Mike Bonin, and Paul Krekorian also voiced concerns about this ordinance in the past that included the lack of enforcement, they ultimately decided that the mandate needed to go into place as soon as possible and that the details could be ironed out later.
“All those concerns being said, we can’t delay a day longer. We need to advance forward with an ordinance that is going to protect people from their fellow citizens who are making a choice not to be vaccinated,” Krekorian said.
People can get exemptions from this ordinance in Los Angeles if they have medical conditions that restrict their ability to get vaccinated or a “sincerely held religious belief,” which will be left up to whatever locations the individual is trying to enter.
Similar ordinances have already gone into place in West Hollywood, New York, and San Francisco.