In Los Angeles, the country’s strongest Covid-19 vaccination mandate went into effect, requiring proof of full inoculation to enter select indoor public places, large events, and city buildings.
Los Angeles has begun requiring proof of full Covid-19 vaccination to enter the indoor portions of food establishments, such as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, breweries, wineries, food courts, hotel ballrooms, shopping malls, movie theatres, music and concert venues, museums, spas, nail salons, hair salons, gyms and fitness venues, as well as certain city facilities and other locations, according to Xinhua news agency.
Outdoor events with over 5,000 attendees are also included.
For these events, attendees are permitted to show a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of entry in lieu of proof of vaccination.
The sweeping measure was approved by the City Council and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti last month.
Officials said that enforcement of the ordinance will begin on November 29.
An operator of a covered location or outdoor large event may be issued a citation for the violation and shall be subject to administrative fines starting at $1,000 and topping out at $5,000 for a fourth and each subsequent violation.
The Los Angeles Times reported that “the requirement is significantly broader than the rules that have been in place in wider LA County for the past month”.
City officials noted in the ordinance that “the Covid-19 pandemic remains a significant challenge in the City of Los Angeles, particularly in light of the highly contagious Delta variant”.
“If there is not a significant increase in vaccination coverage, local health experts warn that there will be a cycle of repeated surges every few months. The City has an interest in increasing vaccination rates which, in turn, will help stem the spread of Covid-19 and protect its residents against a disease that threatens the health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone,” explained officials.
Los Angeles is the county capital of Los Angeles County, which has a population of over 10 million people and is the nation’s most populated county.
The county’s case rates have declined considerably since late August when it was the epicentre of the country’s pandemic.
However, local public health experts stated earlier this month that transmission in the area is still “significant.”
Mayor Garcetti acknowledged this week that he tested positive for Covid-19 while attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, at least one vaccine dosage has been given to 80% of inhabitants aged 12 and up.
Since the onset of the pandemic early last year, Los Angeles County has registered a total of 1,502,676 Covid cases and 26,750 deaths.