City of Los Angeles Consider Vaccination Requirement for Indoor Patrons

Stokes Wagner

On August 11, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council voted to instruct City Attorney Mike Feuer to draft an ordinance that requires customers to show proof of receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to entering indoor public spaces. The ordinance would apply to restaurants, bars, retail stores, fitness centers, spas and entertainment facilities such as stadiums, concert venues and movie theatres.

Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced the motion on August 4, 2021, citing data from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health that shows a near-doubling in daily hospitalization rates for COVID-19 since July and the vaccines’ effectiveness against the highly contagious delta variant. As of August 19, 2021, 73.3% of LA County residents 12 and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

Through the mandated vaccination policy, City Council hopes to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and avoid another economic shutdown. The motion requests a report on what resources would be needed to expand the VaxUpLA campaign and community outreach education programs on the vaccine. Council President Martinez introduced an amendment to the original motion that instructs the City Attorney and Chief Legislative Analyst (“CLA”) to solicit feedback from parents, teachers, and pediatricians on the best methods to protect children, including those younger than 12 years who are ineligible for the vaccine. The amendment also instructs the City Attorney to work with the CLA in considering how businesses, stakeholders, and Council Offices can best comply with the mandate. The City Attorney will present a draft ordinance to City Council after meeting with the relevant City departments.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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