With coronavirus case rates again on the rise and the delta variant circulating, the Los Angeles City Council is set to consider whether the city should start requiring residents to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor settings.
Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell on Wednesday introduced a motion that would require vaccine proof indoors at restaurants, bars, gyms, stores, spas, movie theaters, concert venues and sporting events.
If the motion is passed, Angelenos would need to have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine to be able to enter the indoor public spaces.
“Enough is enough already,” Martinez said in a statement. “Hospital workers are exhausted, moms who have put aside their careers are tired, and our kids cannot afford the loss of another school year. We have three vaccines that work and are readily available, so what’s it going to take?”
Amid the new surge, L.A. County public health officials have not placed new capacity limits on restaurants, so far only responding to the surge in infections by mandating face masks in all indoor public spaces. Officials have, however, warned that “anything is on the table if things continue to get worse.”
Some restaurants and bars have already started requiring customers to show proof that they are vaccinated against COVID-19, or present a negative coronavirus test if they’re unvaccinated.
“So many Angelenos stepped up and did their part. They shouldn’t be penalized with closures by those unwilling to do theirs,” Martinez tweeted.
The motion calls for the L.A. City Attorney to prepare and present an ordinance and to report back on how businesses can comply with the measure.
City Attorney Mike Feuer, a mayoral candidate, on Tuesday sent a letter urging county supervisors to require proof of vaccination for certain indoor activities, including those listed by the council members in Wednesday’s motion.
Feuer said there should be an interim period before any such law would take effect, which would allow residents to get the shots and businesses to prepare.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office told KTLA in a statement that “with cases and hospitalizations rising rapidly, we are not taking anything off the table.”
“The Mayor strongly urges everyone to get vaccinated, and supports businesses that are taking steps to keep their workers and customers safe,” the mayor’s spokesman, Alex Comisar, said in a statement.
The L.A. City motion will next be heard in the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment, officials said.
“Hard-working Angelenos, their customers, and the general public deserve to be safe in public spaces,” O’Farrell said in a statement. “The vaccines are our most effective form of protection, and the time to act is now.”