Oct. 6 (UPI) — The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to require people to show proof they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter certain indoor establishments.
The vaccine mandate is one of the most sweeping measures taken by a U.S. city to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The council voted 11-2 in favor of the mandate, which will require people to be fully vaccinated to enter bars, restaurants, nail salons, gyms, shopping centers and entertainment venues. The city already required proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 for large events such as concerts or sporting events with more than 10,000 people.
Certain essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies will not require proof of vaccination. The mandate applies to people 12 years old and up.
Those with medical or religious exemptions for the vaccine will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before entry.
Businesses found to be violating the mandate face a $1,000 fine for a second infraction, $2,000 for a third and $5,000 for a fourth.
Had the measure received at least 12 votes in its favor, it would have gone into effect immediately. As it is, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti must sign the measure within 10 days, at which point it will go into effect 31 days later.
Garcetti’s spokesman, Harrison Wollman, said the mayor plans to sign the mandate into law, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“These new rules will encourage more people to get the shot, and make businesses safer for workers and customers — so that we can save more lives, better protect the vulnerable and make our communities even safer as we fight this pandemic,” Garcetti said in a statement.
Critics of the mandate said it would force segregation of the vaccinated versus unvaccinated and it would be unenforceable. Supporters said it would encourage more people to get vaccinated and protect people against the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.