Los Angeles to adopt strict vaccination mandate

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Leaders in Los Angeles were set to promulgate one of the country’s toughest vaccination mandates on Wednesday – a sweeping move that would require injections for everyone who walks into a bar, restaurant, a nail salon, a gym or even a Lakers game.

City council was due to consider the proposal after postponing a vote last week to address issues ranging from who could be fined for infractions to whether employees could end up in fights when they have to serve of vaccine gate monitors.

Some critics claim that a mandate would amount to segregation of those who cannot or refuse to be vaccinated. Others call it inapplicable.

Business groups have said the city’s tenure will cause confusion because Los Angeles County’s own vaccination rules – which apply to both Los Angeles and surrounding communities – are less drastic.

However, council members generally support the order, which aims to reduce the risk of further outbreaks of COVID-19. The second most populous city in the country faced a huge increase in infections and hospitalizations last winter and a smaller increase this summer linked to the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed his support for a vaccine measure last week, saying: “I don’t want to bury another city employee, policeman, firefighter. ”

The ordinance would require people to be fully vaccinated to enter indoor public spaces, including shopping malls, restaurants, bars, gyms, sports arenas, museums, spas, nail salons, facilities. urban interior and other places. Current eligibility includes persons 12 years of age and older.

Negative coronavirus tests within 72 hours of entering these places would be required for people with religious or medical exemptions for vaccinations.

Council Chairman Nury Martinez said it is clear vaccines work, but too many people are not being vaccinated despite widespread availability and door-to-door campaigns to vaccinate more people.

The ordinance comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are plummeting as political ambitions rise – two council members are running for mayor, as is the city attorney who drafted the proposal.

In a recent town hall meeting, city councilor and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino challenged the measure as being “clear as mud” with regard to enforcement.

“Making a teenager… serve as a bouncer to keep people in or out of a restaurant and then fining the business for its failure is not the right way to go about it,” he said. declared.

Buscaino also noted the conflict between the city’s measure and the county’s vaccination mandate, which only covers patrons and workers at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, lounges and nightclubs. The county will require proof of a dose starting Thursday, while full proof of vaccination will be required by November 4.

Of the county’s roughly 10 million people, 78% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 69% are fully vaccinated, according to public health officials.

The county reported 35 new deaths and 964 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Health officials said the county reported 14 deaths per day, on average, even though death and hospitalization figures have plunged about 50% since late August.

A growing number of places in the United States, including San Francisco and New York, require people to show proof of vaccination to enter various types of businesses and places.

This summer, New York City began requiring proof of vaccination to dine in restaurants and bars, or to enter certain types of public places, including museums, theaters, gymnasiums, arenas and halls. the concert.

Compliance has been mixed and enforcement deliberately light, with the city favoring early warnings for violators and fines for repeat offenders.

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