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Beyond the dome: Los Angeles approves requirement of COVID vaccine at most indoor venues

The Los Angeles City Council voted to approve a new ordinance that will require a proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter indoor venues such as restaurants, salons, shopping malls, movie theaters and many other indoor venues on Wednesday.

The vote was scheduled to be held last week, but it was postponed to this week after Councilman Joe Busciano said he would withhold his vote due to concerns of how the ordinance would be enforced. The vote ultimately went 11–2, with Busciano and Councilman John Lee opposing.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the ordinance on Wednesday, according to a mayoral spokesperson.

The ordinance will also require proof of vaccination at coffee shops, gyms, museums, bowling alleys and spas, among others.

According to the ordinance, the rules will allow for customers to submit written exemptions for religious or medical reasons, but businesses are required to have them use outdoor facilities, or submit proof of a recent negative test if no outdoor facilities are available. However, unvaccinated customers will be allowed to briefly enter a restaurant or other venue to pick up takeout or use the restroom.

The ordinance will go into effect on November 4 and will be lifted when Los Angeles lifts its emergency declaration of the pandemic.

Penalties for businesses include a warning for a first violation, a $1,000 fine for a second violation and then fines of up to $5,000 for subsequent violations. The enforcement will begin on November 29.

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