Los Angeles has become the latest major city to announce it will pass its mandate to see anyone unvaccinated banned from entering indoor bars by early next month.
Officials made a statement on September 15 that at least one dose of vaccine will need all customers and employees at bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs, and lounges in Los Angeles County for entry to the venues of October 7. A second shot will be required for entry as of November 4.
The mandate also requires that all outdoor events with 10,000 people or more require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Restaurants exempt from the mandate are recommended to ask for proof of vaccination for indoor seats.
"As evidence mounts affirming the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccination mandates are an increasingly important tool to prevent future COVID surges that cause widespread suffering," Barbara Ferrer, PhD, public health director of Los Angeles County, said during a meeting with the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 15. "This is a reasonable path forward that will position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges."
During a press briefing on September 15, California Gov. Gavin Newsom showed support for the decision, saying that while state officials "believe in localism and want to support local health decisions," there were still no plans to pass a statewide mandate for the time being. When pressed by reporters why such regulations were being enacted as cases across the state have been in significant decline, he replied that it "was around this time last year we started to see that stabilization and decline as well, yet to experience that winter surge."
Los Angeles County's bar vaccine mandate isn't the first to be put in place by a major city, but it's less strict than others that have been enacted in recent weeks. In New Orleans, people must show either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to enter certain bars, restaurants, breweries, gyms, fitness centres, sports complexes, and stadiums. San Francisco began requiring proof of vaccination at indoor restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms, and significant indoor events on August 20. And on August 17, New York City's expansive mandate went into effect, requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining, fitness centres, entertainment venues, nightclubs, pools, museums, and other public spaces.
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