Starting Monday, Angelenos visiting restaurants, movie theaters, malls, salons and several other venues in Los Angeles will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative virus test to enter.
The city’s sweeping new vaccine verification requirements go into effect on Nov. 8, expanding on Los Angeles County’s mandate, which on Thursday started requiring proof of full vaccination at only bars, lounges, nightclubs, breweries, wineries and distilleries.
It’s one of the nation’s strictest vaccine mandates and means that vaccine verification is needed at many more locations within the city’s limits than in surrounding areas.
Under the ordinance passed by the L.A. City Council, patrons aged 12 and older will have to show proof of full vaccination at indoor areas including restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, concert venues, convention centers, card rooms, play areas, museums, malls, play areas, spas, salons and indoor city facilities.
There are exemptions to the city’s mandate: 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, place an order or pick up an item if they’re masked.
Beginning Nov. 29, venues can be issued a citation for not implementing the requirement, and may be fined $1,000 for a second violation, and thousands more for subsequent violations, according to the ordinance.
Ahead of voting to pass the ordinance, L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez — who introduced the motion — said there were still too many unvaccinated residents and that those who have been vaccinated “deserve to go back to normal.”
“No one is forcing anyone to get vaccinated,” she said at the time. “But if you don’t, there are certain things you will not be able to do without showing proof of vaccination.”
As of Thursday, 72% of L.A. County residents aged 12 and older were fully vaccinated, according to county data.
L.A. County’s health department issued a statement Thursday saying that targeted vaccine mandates are all aimed at places where risk of spreading the virus is higher, and it’s the surest way to quickly reduce spread and allow for continued economic recovery.
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.