LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Diner Richard Benzing Friday had no reservations about Osteria La Buca’s newly announced policy that starting next week they would require guests to show proof of vaccination.
“You know what if you want to eat out and you want good food, I’m sorry but you have to do what you need to do and go with the flow and be healthy,” Benzing said.
West Hollywood’s The Abbey announced it would be doing the same on social media stating that all guests would need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for entry.
It’s the latest pivot some bars and restaurants have undergone to protect staff, customers and their businesses as COVID cases surge in the Southland.
“I think every business has to make a decision that suits them best and works for them and makes them and their staff comfortable,” Ann Hsing, COO of Pasjoli Restaurant in Santa Monica.
Hsing is also the president of the Independent Hospitality Coalition, and says that Pasjoli was not yet requiring proof of vaccination, but said the eatery would consider it if it meant they were able to stay open.
“We’re fine checking for vaccinations, checking for COVID tests, as long as that’s what everyone’s doing and that’s what’s expected, the public expects to happen,” Hsing said. “It’s a very gray area right now that we’re running into, because I just feel like vaccination has become such a partisan issue.”
Dr. Michael Hirt, the director for the Center of Integrative Medicine in Tarzana, said frontline doctors saw this surge coming long before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started clarifying that vaccinated people can get sick and carry the virus.
“The problem here is that anytime you mix medicine and politics, you create a poison,” he said. “This has germinated to the point where August is going to be very similar, I’m afraid, to what we saw in the last wave, you know, January, December. This is going to be really ugly.”
And it’s already started disrupting normal life with Hermosa Beach Youth Basketball announcing the cancellation of the rest of the summer season due to the number of COVID cases within the league family.
“This was kinda like a ray of light and we were getting there and families were getting together,” Max Bretos, one of the parent coaches, said. “They did it all the right way, the players didn’t wear masks, everyone else did, it was outdoors, it felt like a real safe place.”
Vaccinated since April, Bretos said he tested positive for COVID last week.
“The lack of symptoms, ’cause when I get sick, I get sick, so the lack of symptoms tell me that the vaccine was had it’s little sword out and was fighting, I could hear the swords clanging in my body as it fought off the virus,” he said.
And the importance of getting vaccinated might be getting through to holdouts with the White House reporting the highest number of first doses Friday since July 1.