Beginning Monday, indoor businesses that do not confirm the vaccine or negative COVID-19 test status of customers risk fines as enforcement of the vaccine mandate in the city of Los Angeles takes effect.
The rule, passed by the L.A. City Council in October, requires customers provide proof of vaccination to access indoor services at restaurants and bars, theaters and museums, fitness and yoga centers, as well as nail and hair salons. Businesses are required to verify patrons’ vaccine status if they are over the age of 12 and confirm their identity using photo identification if they appear to be over the age of 18.
As of Monday, businesses caught allowing customers inside without such proof will be first warned and then fined $1,000 for a second violation, $2,000 for a third violation and $5,000 for a fourth and each subsequent violation.
The mandate allows for limited exceptions for patrons who have a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief which prevents them from receiving the vaccine. In such cases, in lieu of proof of vaccine, customers may provide proof that they have taken a COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours and received a negative result.
“A patron who does not provide proof of vaccination may be allowed to enter an indoor portion of a covered location for brief and limited periods of time to use the restroom, order, pick-up or pay for food or drink “to go,” or perform necessary repairs, provided that the patron wears a well-fitting mask at all times,” the ordinance reads. “To the extent feasible, a covered location may offer service outside for a patron who does not provide proof of vaccination, including curbside pickup, drive thru, delivery, and outdoor seating and dining.”
A city webpage about the mandate reads “Inspectors from the Department of Building and Safety, and any authorized agents, will enforce the ordinance beginning on Nov. 29.”