“No one will force you to get a vaccine, but if you decide not to get one, there are certain things you will not be able to do,” said Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez about a vote taken today that will require people to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination before entering indoor entertainment venues.
The amendment to the city ordinance passed today with 11 “ayes” and two “nays.” Councilmen Joe Buscaino and John Lee were the dissenters. Two other members were absent for the vote.
Ordinances need unanimous approval upon their first reading. Supervisor Buscaino invoked the council’s Rule 39 on the first reading last week, which allowed him to withhold the unanimous consent required to pass the ordinance. That meant potential approval would be delayed to this week.
Due to the ordinance’s “urgency clause,” the ordinance needed 12 yes votes upon its second consideration to pass with urgency today, not the normal eight votes. Since only the eight vote threshold was achieved the measure, which was to apply November 4, takes effect in the normal time frame, which is one month from publication, or November 6.
Thus, people in L.A. will need to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination before entering indoor movie theaters, concert & sports event venues, restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers and personal care establishments.
“This is no longer negotiable,” said Martinez, “the stakes are too high.”
Those with medical or religious exemptions will need to provide a recent negative Covid test.
Indoor public spaces that fall under the ordinance would be required to display advisory notices of the vaccination requirement.
The ordinance applies to:
-Entertainment and recreation venues including movie theaters, shopping centers, concert venues, performance venues, adult entertainment venues, commercial event and party venues, sports arenas, convention centers, exhibition halls, museums, malls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, card rooms, family entertainment centers, pool and billiard halls, play areas and game centers
-Establishments that serve food or beverages, including 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
-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
Police stations would apparently also be included in the ordinance, according to testimony last week. It would also likely impact the availability of NBA, NFL and other professional sports stars who refuse vaccination.
It is unclear where theme parks fall in regard to the city ordinance, but last Tuesday L.A. County announced that Covid vaccination/testing requirement for visitors to large venues such as Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood will largely remain, but the county will no longer require proof of a negative Covid test for patrons ages 11 and younger — an age group that remains ineligible for vaccinations.
The county also removed the requirement that patrons ages 17 and younger provide a photo ID along with their vaccination/testing verification. The county also agreed to delay the photo ID requirement for people ages 18 and over until Nov. 1, which aligns with the city’s date. People still will have to provide the vaccination/testing verification beginning Oct. 7.
Theme parks in the county had expressed concerns about the requirement, contending they had limited staffing to check the required documentation — both a vaccine/testing verification and a photo ID — potentially leading to long lines for admission to the parks. They also argued that patrons who purchased tickets in advance before the requirements were announced should be given a grace period. The same is certainly true of movie theaters, concert venues and sporting events.
Biden Vaccine Mandate for Contractors Blocked Nationwide
- Mandate one of a set of Biden vaccine initiatives
- States say contractor requirement violates Constitution
The Biden administration’s mandate for federal contractors’ employees to be vaccinated will be halted nationwide, amid a slew of challenges from states that say the president overstepped his authority in requiring the Covid-19 shots.
Led by Georgia, the seven states that challenged the mandate set to take effect on Jan. 4 are likely to succeed in their lawsuits against the administration’s order, U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker of the Southern District of Georgia said in an order issued Tuesday.
The Biden administration mandate applies to roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce and affects companies that do business with the federal government, including Lockheed Martin Corp., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.‘s Google, and General Motors Co.
Baker’s order follows a Kentucky federal judge’s grant last week of a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit involving Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. Baker echoed what his Kentucky counterpart said, that blocking the mandate didn’t indicate that the vaccine wouldn’t be effective to stopping the spread of Covid-19, but rather that Biden didn’t have the power to issue such an executive order.
Representatives from Georgia universities testified during an injunction hearing earlier this month, arguing that implementation of the mandate would be expensive, onerous, and cost them valuable employees who haven’t yet presented proof of vaccination. Those schools receive millions from the federal government.
The court found that the states could likely prove that Congress didn’t clearly authorize the president to issue the mandate, and that it “goes far beyond addressing administrative and management issues in order to promote efficiency and economy in procurement and contracting.” The 2017 nominee of President Donald Trump said, instead, the executive order works as a “regulation of public health.”
Neither the lawyers representing the state coalition nor the U.S. government immediately responded to emailed requests for comment.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little cheered Tuesday’s ruling in a statement. The state is part of the Georgia-led contractor mandate challenge, as well as lawsuits against the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration’s shot-or-test emergency regulation for large U.S. businesses, and another inoculation rule for healthcare workers.
“Yet another one of President Biden’s vaccine mandates have been temporarily shut down because the states—including Idaho—took a stand against his unprecedented government overreach into Americans’ lives and businesses,” Little said in the statement. “All three mandates are now completely stalled. We will continue to press forward in our fight against the federal government’s bad policies.”
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