Los Angeles, California recently enacted one of the nation’s strictest vaccine mandates yet.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, the city council has determined that everyone over the age of 12 should be required to prove they are vaccinated before being allowed into various indoor facilities.
Businesses could face hefty fines
The age range was apparently chosen to include everyone currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Those who fall into this group would either have to prove their status or apply for an exemption before entering gyms, restaurants, bars, and certain other businesses.
Grocery stores and pharmacies are among the indoor public spaces excluded from the mandate, the Examiner notes.
There are two categories of exemptions available: religious and medical. Even if someone applies for such an exemption and the application is accepted, however, the work is not yet over.
Those with exemptions will also be required to provide a negative test result from within the previous 72 hours before being allowed entry into one of the regulated facilities. Such individuals would also be given the option of using an outdoor area of the business if it exists.
Under the new mandate, a penalty for violations would be placed on the business. A first offense would result in a warning, escalating to fines of $1,000, $2,000, and $5,000 for subsequent violations.
“I don’t want to bury another city employee”
The mandate passed on Wednesday with a council vote of 11-2. Now, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s signature is all that is needed to put the sweeping regulation into effect — and considering his previous support for vaccine mandates, it is fully expected that he will sign the measure.
“I don’t want to bury another city employee, police officer, firefighter,” the Democratic mayor said last week.
Los Angelinos will likely be required to abide by the mandate by early next month.
Although it is one of the strictest mandates in the nation, it is in line with policies in place elsewhere across the nation, including San Francisco and New York City.
City leaders determined that that the mandate would be necessary for Los Angeles despite the fact that roughly 80% of its population has received at least one shot of the vaccine and nearly 70% are fully inoculated.