Los Angeles to Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Movie Theaters, Concerts, Restaurants

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The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to pass an ordinance that, as of Nov. 4, will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, movie theaters and many other private businesses.

The mandate adds to the health order passed on Sept. 17 that requires bars, lounges, breweries, wineries and nightclubs to ensure their patrons show proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 7 and full vaccination by Nov. 4. The Sept. 17 ordinance also stated that organizers of “mega events” with over 10,000 attendees must require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

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Now, the businesses that must require vaccines also include restaurants of any kind (fast food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias), gyms and fitness venues, entertainment venues (movie theaters, shopping centers, concert and performance venues, sports arenas, museums, arcades) and personal care establishments (spas, nail salons, hair salons, tanning salons, estheticians, skin care, tattoo shops).

Similar ordinances have already been passed in West Hollywood, New York and San Francisco.

The ordinance also updates event guidelines, now requiring vaccination or a negative COVID test for events with over 5,000 attendees.

People exempt from the mandate include those with medical conditions that restrict their ability to get vaccinated or who have a “sincerely held religious belief,” which will be up to discretion of the location the person is visiting. Those with exemptions will be required to show a recent negative COVID test.

The city attorney was directed to draft the ordinance after a 13-0 vote on Aug. 11. “If we ever want to get back to normal, to what Los Angeles was like pre-COVID, we need to stop the spread,” said 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.”

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