On Thursday, November 4th, one of Los Angeles' most controversial Covid-19 vaccination mandates takes effect. As of this date, Los Angeles County will require all patrons of indoor bars, wineries, breweries, and nightclubs to have proof of full vaccination before being admitted to the premises.
This mandate does not cover indoor restaurants, but some believe that this might be the next mandate that will be announced. Proof of vaccination and a secondary form of identification (driver's license or passport) is now a must-have at adult-centric locations who serve alcohol.
The Public Health Director for the Los Angeles County, Barbara Ferrer, explained that because these establishments already require proof of identification for either admission or for the purchase of alcohol, adding a vaccine check should not be too much of an additional burden to businesses still reeling from the negative financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The logic behind this distinction is that alcohol can reduce people's resolve to social distance and wear masks when appropriate, thus increasing the risk of the spread of the virus.
With enforcing this mandate, Los Angeles becomes one of the strictest cities in the country when it comes to Covid-19 vaccinations. West Hollywood resident and nightclub patron Nayte Forsythe says of the mandate, "I love it. People need to get vaccinated because it takes care of other people. Let those anti-vaxxers drink alone at home and not bring their germs to the club."
Lucy Grosso, an unvaccinated Los Angeles resident, is not deterred by the mandate. "It's fine. I like drinking outside. I will take my parties to places that have outdoor options. I think it will be great for restaurants and terrible for the nightclubs. Anyway, it's easy to fake a vaccination card."
While some patrons of Los Angeles nightclubs and bars seem a bit more flippant about the mandate, owners of the adult establishments stand to lose a lot. Fines for bars and clubs who do not comply with this mandate are steep - ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for subsequent violations. This could be a huge blow to bars, wineries, and breweries who have seen more than a year of mandated reduced capacities and lower profits.
A majority of Los Angeles residents are fully vaccinated (approximately 80% by the end of October 2021), but the remaining 20% will have to take their parties elsewhere. It is yet to be seen whether this will have an impact on the bottom line of Los Angeles adult establishments, but it has definitely been a topic of conversation around the city.