Illustration. Photo: Martin Wiik

A new vaccination mandate approved by the Los Angeles City Council forces everyone in Los Angeles, from Nov. 8, to be vaccinated in order to be able to visit bars, restaurants, and other indoor venues. This new procedure imposes restaurants to control every entering guest.
Written by: Martin Wiik
This is one of the strictest vaccination mandates in The United States to this date. This new mandate is coming in a period where the amount of COVID cases in California has been constantly decreasing since the beginning of September. Senior editor at the food magazine Eater LA, Farley Elliott, says restaurants are positive even though this might result in loss of revenue for some business.

Farley Elliott, Senior Editor at Eater LA. Photo: Farley Elliott/Eater LA

“Most operators I've spoken with are comfortable with the new mandates, in part because it helps to ensure the safety of their workers and their existing dining base”, Elliott said.

“Making it a universal requirement for all City of LA restaurants, bars, and indoor spaces also helps take the onus off of restaurants solely, though a few workers and operators continue to worry about the potential for negative or even violent encounters with anti-mask and anti-vaccine contingents across the county.

Popular restaurant in Los Angeles. Photo: Jonathan Ingram

We’ve also talked to a restaurant manager, Maddie Decter, from a known restaurant in LA whom confirmed that a few customers weren’t satisfied with this new procedure. She doesn't want the restaurant's name to be mentioned, but she is willing to comment the mandate.

“There have been a few radicals, those who aren’t happy about it. Expressing loudly, despite that it’s not our decision”, Decter said.

However, there are some exceptions in this new mandate. Unvaccinated visitors may still visit restaurants as long as they are seated outside. In addition, they are also granted a limited access inside to use restrooms and to pick up food or to use the indoor restrooms.

Elliott at Eater LA is also mentioning threats that might occur when restrictions like these are being presented.

“Generally speaking, any new government-mandated step or procedure could be seen as making things 'more difficult' for workers and owners and even diners, but that really obscures the larger point”, Elliott said.

“Most people within the hospitality industry that I've spoken to are pro-vaccine and ultimately pro-mandate, especially if it means keeping themselves, other employees, and diners safe. The most cumbersome piece of the puzzle is figuring out how, when, and where to ask for proof of vaccination, so as to stay in compliance with city mandates”.

Decter is happy about the new mandate and doesn’t see any major problems with it at the time of speaking.

“I totally accept it. I would quietly take some hit for the sake of safety, that’s the most important thing. Ultimately people are being very understanding and people are coming ready to show their vaccination records” Decter, said.

Many people are already used to showing their vaccination records when entering night clubs, since this have been a procedure for a long time. Hollywood, for instance, has been known for having their own procedures before this mandate. However, coffee shops, food courts, gym and fitness venues and hair salons are now also one of those businesses where vaccination records are mandatory. On the other hand, if you’re having a religious and medical reason for not getting vaccinated you can use a negative COVID test instead, as long as it is not older than 72 hours. 

“I don’t want to put any weight on it. Anyone who’s going to disrespect my staff, I don’t want them to eat here, so I’m happy to lose those customers”, Decter said.

Vaccination mandate forces restaurants to validate vaccination status for their guests prior for entry.

The vast majority of the people we’ve been talking to are happy about this new mandate. One of them is Alex Castro.

“It doesn't bother me and I like it” Castro said. “I'm vaccinated and I have a physical copy and digital copy. So, I think it's easy to show proof and makes things more normal again, at least a little bit. So, I would say it doesn't have much of a factor, like impact, on my everyday life”.
He continues 
"I don't mind the vaccine mandate because now most of the restrictions that limited capacity have been lifted". Castro said. "To be honest, I actually think the mask mandate is a bit outdated as all the overlapping rules and exceptions pretty much reduce the effectiveness of the mask, uh, the mass mandate, um, and the vaccine mandate just seems more effective in my opinion"

As of now, there are no end-date for the vaccination mandate. Businessnes or venues that doesn't enforce this mandate will face penalties starting from $1.000 - $5000. 
As of today (Dec. 6) 74% of Los Angeles residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.
In total: 1642 people tested positive during the last 24 hours. The amount of cases per day are increasing after a short periode of decreasing. 
In total: 4 deaths due to COVID, during the last 24 hours.
In total: 610 people are hospitalized.

Face mask. Photo: Martin Wiik

Popular restaurant in Los Angeles. Photo: Jonathan Ingram

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