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LA City Council Tweaks COVID Vaccine Proof Mandate; Drops Shopping Centers From Requirement

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved slight changes to the sweeping new mandate which took effect earlier this week requiring people to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, coffee shops, gyms and several other types of establishments.

People enjoying eating and shopping at The Grove on a beautiful fall afternoon
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 21: Shoppers exit Nordstrom at The Grove on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. Shoppers are enjoying the beautiful fall day. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The SafePassLA mandate took effect Nov. 8. The city, however, said it will not begin enforcing it until Nov. 29 in order to give businesses more time to comply.

The most notable change saw the city council remove "malls and shopping centers" from the list of indoor public spaces that require proof of vaccination because they often have several points of entry and thus would be too difficult to enforce.

The other major tweak is that proof of vaccination will only be required for those ages 12 and older, and not children under 11.

As it is currently structured, the ordinance applies to:

  • Restaurants, bars, fast food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias, food courts, breweries, wineries, distilleries banquet halls and hotel ballrooms.
  • Gyms and fitness venues, including recreation facilities, fitness studios (including for yoga, pilates, dance, and barre), boxing gyms, fitness boot camps and facilities that hold indoor group fitness classes.
  • Entertainment and recreation venues including movie theaters, concert venues, performance venues, adult entertainment venues, commercial event and party venues, sports arenas, convention centers, exhibition halls, museums, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, card rooms, family entertainment centers, pool and billiard halls, play areas and game centers.
  • Personal care establishments, including spas, nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons, estheticians, skin care, tattoo shops, piercing shops and massage therapy locations, unless medically required.

The ordinance also requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend outdoor events with 5,000 or more people.

When enforcement of the new law begins Nov. 29, businesses who violating it will be issued a $1,000 fine for a second violation, $2,000 fine for a third violation and a $5,000 fine for a fourth and subsequent violations.

L.A. County's rules, which are less expansive than the city's, went into effect on Nov. 4, also requiring people patronizing or working in an indoor bar, winery, brewery, nightclub or lounge in the county to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the latest numbers, 80% of eligible Los Angeles County residents have received age 12 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 72% fully vaccinated.

Children age 5-11 became eligible for shots last week, a group that includes about 900,000 in L.A. County.

For more information on SafePassLA, click here.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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