On Monday, Los Angeles began enforcing its stringent vaccine mandate. If anyone wants to patronize an indoor business, they will be required to show proof of vaccination.
This mandate, called “SafePass L.A.,” is now one of the strictest vaccine ordinances in the country. From restaurants to gyms, salons and entertainment venues, businesses are being forced to require customers to be vaccinated.
NBC News reported that the mandate allows individuals who are not vaccinated to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entry to an indoor business. Otherwise, unvaccinated individuals are still allowed to use outdoor facilities of businesses and are also allowed inside briefly if they need to use the restroom or collect a to-go order.
While the order took effect Monday, NBC reported, city officials have said that they will not begin enforcing it (and fining those businesses that don’t comply) until Nov. 29 to give businesses a few weeks to make any modifications needed.
This mandate comes after a series of others that the city has approved over the past year as Los Angeles has sought to deal with the pandemic.
In August, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health required masks for any major outdoor events, regardless of an individual’s vaccine status, according to KABC-TV.
In October, Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that city employees would be required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 18.
“Employees must be vaccinated by December 18, and we are putting a rigorous testing program into place in the meantime. Let me be clear: any employee who refuses to be vaccinated by this date should be prepared to lose their job,” Garcetti said.
SafePass L.A. is the newest addition to the COVID measures that Los Angeles has been putting in place.
But many business owners are already speaking out against the mandate, worried about the effect it could have on their establishments. At the very least, many are worried that it will be disruptive to their normal operating procedures.
“I feel like it’s necessary, but it is definitely going to hinder some regular business procedures. I’m kind of happy, kind of worried,” Curtis Park, owner of Coffee Memes cafe, told KTLA-TV.
Other business owners simply do not see it as their responsibility to be asking people about their vaccination status.
“I don’t think that we need to be the police and try now to fight with people when some of them don’t even want to put a mask on. It’s not my job,” Yoel Kraizberger, owner of Ta-eem Grill, told KCBS.
Many others are also against SafePass L.A. Today, hundreds gathered at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles to protest both the new mandate and the requirement for city employees to be vaccinated, according to KTTV-TV.
Meanwhile, the city council argued that the mandate will reward those who have been vaccinated. KTLA reported Council President Nury Martinez said that the vaccinated “deserve to go back to normal.”
“We’re getting tired of protecting people who do not want to protect themselves and get vaccinated,” Martinez said.
There are about 10 million people in Los Angeles County and a large majority of them have been either fully or partially vaccinated. According to KABC, about 80 percent of residents have at least one dose, while more than 70 percent are fully vaccinated.
But the mayor and city officials want everyone to be vaccinated in order to fight the pandemic.
“Vaccinating more Angelenos is our only way out of this pandemic,” Garcetti said. “And we must do everything in our power to keep pushing those numbers up.”
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