The city’s mandate applies to all bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges that do not have licensed kitchens. While not mandatory, the city “strongly recommends” restaurant owners to require a vaccine check for indoor meals.
“We all want to protect our community by reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a September 21 press release. “Requiring proof of vaccination in high-risk settings is an important step in achieving this. “
Bars and other drinking establishments are most often frequented by people in their 20s and 30s, an age group least likely to be vaccinated, according to city data. Less than 64% of Long Beach residents aged 18 to 34 are vaccinated, compared to over 67% of those aged 12 to 17 and over 87% of residents aged 35 and over.
Employees must also be vaccinated to work indoors at these companies, but may be granted medical or religious exemption. Exempt staff should be tested weekly.
The ordinance extends Nov. 4, requiring people to be fully vaccinated to work and drink inside drinking places.
The Long Beach ordinance, which is consistent with the county’s mandate, is tame compared to the city of Los Angeles. In a rare move, the LA city council voted to expand the county’s rules, requiring proof of vaccination at indoor restaurants, malls, hair and nail salons, coffee shops, museums and a range of ‘other interior places.
Long Beach and LA have mostly deferred to county regulations throughout the pandemic.
LA’s ordinance expires when the city’s emergency declaration expires. Long Beach, meanwhile, has not “designated a specific sunset for the new vaccine mandate,” according to spokeswoman Jennifer Rice Epstein.
The Long Beach Health Ordinance also applies to outdoor mega-events of 10,000 people or more. Participants in such events must show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of the event.
The mega indoor event of 1,000 people or more already requires proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter.
“It is important that people receive their COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and others,” reads the city’s health order. “The data shows that people who have been vaccinated are much better protected against serious illnesses and infections. “
In Long Beach, 78% of eligible residents aged 12 and over received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccination on Wednesday, while 69% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated against the disease.
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