Los Angeles began requiring proof of vaccination for restaurant and bar customers 12 years of age and older on Monday, in an initiative called SafePassLA that’s one of the strictest vaccination mandates on the books nationwide. Though the mandate rolled out on Monday, enforcement won’t begin until Nov. 29.
Affected businesses include all restaurants, bars, cafes, breweries, wineries, cafeterias, and banquet halls. The full list of businesses — including gyms and sporting/entertainment venues — is available here.
The new rules were drafted as an ordinance and signed into law by Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti in September.
Vaccinating more Angelenos is our only way out of this pandemic, and we must do everything in our power to keep pushing those numbers up," Garcetti said in a statement. Mayor Garcetti tested positive for COVID-19 last week while traveling to the United Nations Climate Change conference.
The fine print
Beginning Nov. 8, these businesses will be required to place advisory signage for patrons on their premises explaining that you need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the premises. Businesses are then required to check proof of vaccination of patrons at the door, while large outdoor events must require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes vaccination card, photocopy of vaccination card, digital vaccination card issued by the state of California or documentation of vaccination by a healthcare provider. For customers aged 18 and older, businesses will be required to check identification against the vaccination proof.
Exemptions include “reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition, restriction, or a sincerely held religious belief” and the patron must provide “verbal self-attestation” to be permitted. Other exemptions include people that are briefly using the bathroom on-premises and are not paying customers, nonresident performing artists and all businesses in Los Angeles area airports.
Starting Nov.29, a first violation of the above requirements will result in a warning and notice to correct, a second violation results in a $1,000 fine, a third violation results in a $2,000 fine, and any subsequent violations result in $5,000 fines.
Additionally, all Los Angeles city workers must be vaccinated by Dec. 18.
As of Nov. 8, 80% of Los Angeles County residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose and 72% are fully vaccinated.
For more information on how to prepare your business for vaccine mandates, check out NRN’s breakdown of tips and advice for transitioning to these new requirements.
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