Full COVID vaccination now required to enter L.A. County bars, nightclubs, wineries

California

Starting Thursday, customers will need to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter indoor bars, nightclubs, wineries and other venues in Los Angeles County.

Previously, patrons were required to have had at least one vaccine dose to get into indoor areas of bars, lounges, nightclubs, breweries, wineries and distilleries. That requirement went into effect last month.

Now, the venues will have to make sure that customers aged 12 and older have taken at least two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson at least 14 days before trying to enter the venue, according to the new health officer order.

Operators of large outdoor events, like music festivals, sporting events and concerts, were already required to verify the full vaccination status, but they were allowed to let guests in if they had negative coronavirus test results.

At bars and other indoor venues, a negative coronavirus test result is not considered an alternative to providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination, health officials said.

Officials said customers who don’t show that they are vaccinated can be directed use the outdoor areas of the business, if available. And if they’re wearing a mask, they can enter the indoor area to use the restroom, or order, pick up or pay.

Otherwise, the unvaccinated patrons will have to be turned away.

What can you show as proof of vaccination?

According to L.A. County’s health department, the following are acceptable forms of vaccine proof:

  • The white CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card
  • The yellow World Health Organization vaccine card
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider
  • A California Immunization Registry (CAIR2) vaccination record
  • A digital vaccination record issued by California Department of Public Health
  • A digital vaccination record from an approved company like Healthvana, Carbon Health, CommonPass, CLEAR Health Pass or VaxYes.

People can also show a photocopy of their vaccine card, or a photo of it on their phone.

Business owners can find instructions on verifying vaccine proof from the county here.

What happens if businesses don’t comply?

L.A. County officials said health inspectors will be visiting bars, clubs and other venues, and if a business is found to be not verifying vaccination status of all patrons, the violation will be documented and the business will receive a compliance date.

If they’re still not complying after that, they may be issued a $500 citation, according to the health department.

What about the city of L.A. vaccine verification requirements?

The county’s vaccine verification requirements are different from the more expansive requirements set to go into effect in the City of L.A. on Nov. 8. (It was initially set to begin Nov. 4., but was later pushed.)

Under the city’s ordinance, patrons aged 12 and older will have to show proof of full vaccination at indoor areas including restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, convention centers, card rooms, museums, malls, play areas, spas, salons and indoor city facilities.

There are exemptions: Those who self-attest to having a medical or religious reason for not getting vaccinated can instead provide a negative coronavirus test taken during the 72 hours before entering an indoor space.

Patrons who aren’t vaccinated and don’t qualify for an exemption can still opt to use outdoor areas of the venues. And they can be allowed to briefly go inside the location to use the restroom, order or pick up an item if they’re masked.

Venues can be issued a citation for not implementing the requirement, and may be fined $1,000 for a second violation, or thousands more for subsequent violations, according to the ordinance.

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