LA City Council Moves Towards Sweeping Vaccine Requirements

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On September 29, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council debated a sweeping proof-of-vaccine requirement, with most Councilmembers indicating support. The ordinance will likely be passed upon its second reading next Tuesday.

The ordinance would require customers to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status to enter a wide variety of public spaces, including restaurants, coffee shops, gyms and fitness venues, movie theaters, shopping malls, concert venues and personal care establishments.

The City’s proposed rules would expand Los Angeles County’s existing proof-of-vaccine requirements for bars, nightclubs, wineries and concert venues.

The ordinance was the subject of significant public comment, and Councilmember Joe Buscaino expressed concern about the legality of the ordinance and the City’s ability to enforce it. He also questioned the ordinance’s penalties on businesses for non-compliance. The majority of Councilmembers indicated strong support for the ordinance.

Because the ordinance was not unanimously voted on, it will be presented to the Council for a second reading on Tuesday October 5, 2021, during which it will require twelve votes to pass as an urgency measure and eight votes to pass without the urgency provisions.

If the ordinance passes next week as expected, it will go into effect on November 4, 2021, but businesses would be required to display advisory notices beginning on October 21, 2021.

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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