The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted on Wednesday to require proof of getting the Chinese coronavirus vaccine in order to be allowed indoors at restaurants, gyms, and other spaces, according to a report.
The vote was to direct the city attorney to draft an ordinance requiring patrons who wish to enter any indoor public spaces to have at least one dose of the vaccination, according to KTLA. As of now, it is unclear how the ordinance will look, but the attorney will have to prepare a draft for the city council to approve then.
The motion for the ordinance was introduced last week by Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. It will apply to restaurants, bars, retail establishments, fitness centers, spas, and entertainment centers like stadiums, concert venues, and movie theaters, according to the report.
Martinez, in a statement, said:
It’s our responsibility to protect the public, that includes protecting them from the unvaccinated. … The decision to not get vaccinated doesn’t just affect you. We have kids under the age of 12 who are not eligible for the vaccine yet, and someone’s decision to not get vaccinated affects them as well.
O’Farrell, in a statement, “tried” to clarify that it is “not a vaccine mandate” but noted that “We need to stop fighting the science and start fighting the virus.” The councilman continued:
We’re not going to tell someone, anyone that they have to get vaccinated. We’re also not going to deny anyone the ability to access essential food, medicine… regardless of vaccination. That wouldn’t be legal, that wouldn’t be moral. … But what is immoral is choosing not to get vaccinated.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield said the city needs to make sure they are careful with some locations in the new ordinance becuase it needs to be made so that people are not denied entry to essential businesses. However, the city will also need to ask businesses for input on what places should be included.
The report noted that the L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday also voted to look into options for requiring proof of vaccination in some unincorporated county areas.
Councilman Paul Koretz said that “mask mandates by themselves aren’t going to get us out of this pandemic.” He added, “Becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] remains the other key action that people can take to protect themselves, their friends and their family.”
In July, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that due to the department’s “limited resources,” his department will not be enforcing the mask mandate the city put back in place. He said the city’s mandate was “not backed by science.”