LA plans to end COVID vaccine proof requirement in bars, restaurants and gyms

The Los Angeles City Council will consider waiving the requirement for interior businesses to verify customers’ COVID-19 vaccination status.

City Council Speaker Nury Martinez introduced a motion on Friday to make vaccine verification voluntary and no longer require proof of vaccinations at large outdoor events.

Martinez’s proposal came the day Los Angeles County relaxed masking rules and stopped requiring vaccine checks at outdoor mega events, bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, discotheques and lounges.

Local jurisdictions may have stricter rules than county ones, and LA currently requires people to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, concert, convention centers, card rooms, playgrounds, museums, shopping malls, playgrounds, spas, salons and indoor urban facilities.

The city’s sweeping mandate, dubbed SafePassLA, was one of the strictest vaccination mandates in the country when it went into effect in November and meant that businesses in Los Angeles had to enforce stricter rules than counties. surrounding.

Martinez – who introduced the motion to require vaccine verification last year – said at the time it would help bring things back to normal for those who have been vaccinated.

Now, with the number of COVID-19 cases declining after the omicron-fueled winter surge, authorities across the state have eased some COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s unclear when vaccine verification rules would be relaxed in Los Angeles if the city council approves the proposal.

Vaccination verification would still be required at mega indoor events with 1,000 or more attendees, such as concerts or games, as it is still required by LA County.

Although Los Angeles County has yet to reach pre-surge levels, the region has seen infection rates plummet after hitting record highs during the winter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved from classifying LA County as having “high” risk for COVID-19 to “low” risk last week, triggering the COVID-19 rule changes.

With fewer required safety measures in place, LA County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said getting vaccinated and strengthened will help provide greater protection.

There are still 1.7 million eligible residents who have yet to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 2.7 million eligible residents who have not been boosted.

“With fewer people infected and seriously ill with COVID-19, and the relaxed safety requirements, it is very tempting to think that the pandemic is over and that we can return to the situation before March 2020,” Ferrer said. in a press release. week. “And although transmission has slowed and we have powerful tools that go a long way to avoiding the worst effects of the virus, there continue to be thousands of people whose lives, families and jobs are disrupted every day. because they or someone close to them is newly infected. , and, for some, their infection will lead to serious illness.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement