The Los Angeles City Council has voted 11-2 to approve a sweeping new ordinance, which will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for anyone hoping to enter a bar, restaurant, salon, gym, coffee shop, bowling alley, and many other indoor sites. Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to sign the ordinance into law, according to a spokesperson. The new rules will be imposed beginning Nov. 4, and won’t expire until the city lifts its emergency pandemic measures.
Religious and medical exemptions will be allowed, but the city will require those customers to use outdoor facilities, or provide a recent negative COVID test if there are none. Businesses in violation of the new law will face an escalating penalty, reaching an apex of $5,000 after four infractions.
The two council members who voted against the measure are John Lee and Joe Buscaino. Lee has said in the past that he was concerned the mandate would be “arbitrary” and unsuccessful in convincing more Californians to get jabbed. Buscaino voted ‘no’ on the measure after the council did not immediately agree to several of his proposed amendments, including making it a crime to harass an employee attempting to enforce the mandate.