L.A. Movie Theaters, Restaurants Will Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Starting Monday

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On Monday, the city of Los Angeles will introduce SafePassLA, a vaccine verification program that will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for all patrons and employees to enter movie theaters, indoor restaurants and other businesses.

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID became requirements on Thursday for indoor entry to bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, nightclubs and lounges across L.A. county, which includes cities like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Burbank. Along with restaurants and theaters, the L.A. city order that goes into effect Monday will include coffee shops, gyms, spas, nail salons, barbershops, shopping malls and entertainment and recreation venues. The requirements also extend to official city facilities, such as city hall, senior centers, recreation centers and service centers.

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A virtual training and certificate program on the requirements of SafePassLA will be introduced to L.A. businesses in the next week, according to a statement by the county’s government.

Similar ordinances had already been passed in West Hollywood, New York and San Francisco before Los Angeles County’s was voted into law on Oct. 6. The city attorney was compelled to draft the ordinance on Aug. 11 by a unanimous 13-0 vote.

“If we ever want to get back to normal, to what Los Angeles was like pre-COVID, we need to stop the spread,” council president Nury Martinez said at the time. “If individuals want to go to their gym, go to their local bar without a mask, you need to get vaccinated. And if you want to watch a basketball game, a baseball game, go to a concert in a big venue, or even go into a movie theater, you need to get a shot.”

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that companies with 100 or more employees must require each worker to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning on Jan. 4, 2022. Under the mandate, issued by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration, workers must get paid time off to attend vaccine appointments, and companies must provide sick leave for workers recovering from side effects from the vaccine. Unvaccinated employees granted medical or religious exemptions must provide a negative COVID test on a weekly basis. Unvaccinated workers must also wear face coverings while performing in-person work.

On Tuesday, the CDC officially approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years old. In L.A. County, an estimated 900,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 are eligible for vaccinations. COVID-19 vaccination has been shown to be 91% effective in preventing infection in this young age group, with only mild side effects.

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