Contact Us

LA Drafting Ordinance Requiring Proof Of Vaccination For Many Indoor Venues

Los Angeles is moving closer to requiring proof of vaccination for entrance to public indoor places like bars, restaurants and stadiums.

LA City Council members, during their regular meeting Wednesday morning, unanimously passed a motion instructing the city attorney to draft an ordinance requiring proof of at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination in order to enter retailers, fitness centers, spas, concert venues and movie theaters, among other places, as the delta variant drives up the number of Covid-19 cases in the region and around the country.

The LA City Council adjourns after voting to draft an ordinance that would require proof of vaccination for entrance to certain indoor public places.

Critics of the motion, some of whom filed public comments ahead of the meeting and others who spoke during it, called a vaccine passport mandate a form of discrimination and a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. But Valley Industry & Commerce Association Legislative Affairs Manager Giancarlo Rubio said his organization supports the mandate as its members can’t afford another shutdown. 

“If we need to encourage people to get vaccinated by putting restrictions on leisure activity, then so be it. That’s what we need to do,” District 5 Council Member Paul Koretz said. 

Council President Nury Martinez introduced a motion to allow businesses and other stakeholders to provide feedback that would be incorporated into the draft ordinance. District 2 Council Member Paul Krekorian asked that the city’s Small Business Commission be included in the discussion over implementation, especially enforcement. 

"While it will undoubtedly be challenging for restaurants to enforce vaccine mandates for the public, we also cannot afford to go back to the days of shutdowns or operating with severely restricted capacities," California Restaurant Association President and CEO Jot Condie said in a statement released the week before the city council vote. "If asking patrons for proof of vaccination in indoor public spaces can help us all avoid more shutdowns, massive layoffs, and operating limits, then we will do everything we reasonably can to assist the efforts of local public health officers, as we have done since the beginning of this pandemic."

District 3 Council Member Bob Blumenfield said he was offended by public commenters who compared the proof-of-vaccination ordinance to the Holocaust. 

“When you ask someone for their papers for the purposes of sending them to a death camp, that is the exact opposite of asking for proof of vaccination so that we can save lives,” he said. 

Blumenfield said the measure would lead to a lawsuit, so ensuring access to the essentials — groceries, for instance — to those who remain unvaccinated was of utmost importance. 

Another component of the motion passed Wednesday was the expansion of Vax Up LA, a door-to-door education and vaccination campaign that kicked off in June. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week also ordered the drafting of plans requiring proof of vaccination against Covid-19 to access many public places. 

District 15 Council Member Joe Buscaino and District 12 Council Member John Lee were absent from the vote. The Latino Restaurant Association and California Fitness Alliance didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. 

UPDATE, AUG. 11, 2:15 P.M. PT: The story has been updated with a statement from California Restaurant Association President and CEO Jot Condie.