Business Owners Say Enforcing LA COVID Vaccine Mandate Came With A Smooth Start

The city of Los Angeles began its enforcement of the SafePassLA ordinance – one of the strictest COVID-19 vaccine mandates of its kind in the nation – as state health officials watch closely for the omicron variant of the virus.

If you find yourself in L.A., be prepared to show proof of full vaccination against COVID.

People who are visiting indoor restaurants, gyms, entertainment and recreational facilities, personal care establishments and some city buildings are required to show proof of full vaccination.

The city’s new vaccine mandate took effect earlier this month.

The SafePassLA ordinance includes all individuals eligible for a COVID vaccine.

So far, many business owners say they’ve been playing by the rules.

“We enforced this two weeks ago,” said Harry Siafaris, the owner of Astro Diner in Silverlake. “We started doing it and we’ve had no problems. The customers understand, and if anyone is not vaccinated, they have the option to sit in the patio outside.”

Accepted forms of proof of vaccination include:

  • * A vaccination card issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or similar documentation issued by another foreign governmental agency
  • * A photocopy of a vaccination card or a photograph stored on a phone or electronic device
  • * A personal digital COVID-19 vaccination record issued by the State of California or similar documentation issued by another state, local or foreign government jurisdiction or by a private company
  • * Documentation of a COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider.

People who appear over the age of 18 will also be required to show identification with their proof of vaccination.

Businesses violating the ordinance will be issued a $1,000 fine for a second violation, $2,000 fine for a third violation and a $5,000 fine for fourth and subsequent violations.

People can be exempted from the mandate if they have medical conditions that restrict their ability to get vaccinated or a “sincerely held religious belief,” according to the ordinance. Those exemptions will have to be reviewed by the location the person is trying to enter.

Negative coronavirus tests within 72 hours of entry to those establishments would be required for people with religious or medical exemptions for vaccinations. Customers without proof can still use outdoor facilities and can briefly enter a business to use a restroom or pick up a food order.

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