LOS ANGELES, CA — The nation’s strictest vaccine mandate law went into effect across Los Angeles Monday, requiring patrons at indoor restaurants, malls, salons, gyms and theaters to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus before entering.
Here’s what you need to know about navigating the new mandate:
- When did it start? The new law went into effect Monday morning, but city officials are giving people a grace period throughout the month of November to get used to it. Officials won’t begin issuing fines until Nov. 29.
- Who faces fines? The onus for making sure patrons show proof of vaccination upon entrance falls on businesses. Starting Nov. 29, they will face a series of escalating fines for failing to require proof of vaccination. A first violation will earn the business a warning and notice to correct. A second violation comes with a $1,000 fine, which goes up to $4,000 by the fourth fine and all subsequent violations.
- How do I show proof that I am vaccinated? Bring your vaccination card issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a picture of your card along with photo identification. Otherwise, you may bring a personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record issued by the government or documentation of your COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider.
- Are there exemptions to the law? Yes. The law allows for medical or religious exemptions from the vaccine mandate. People who self-attest to the exemption will be directed to use an outdoor area. If there is no outdoor area available, they will be allowed indoor service with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before entry and photo identification. Examples of an acceptable negative COVID-19 test result can be found here: L.A. County Visual Guidance Form for Negative COVID-19 Tests. Other exemptions include at LAX, brief use of a restroom, and for nonresident performing artists and athletes playing at Los Angeles venues.
- Who is currently eligible for the vaccine in Los Angeles? Everyone five years old and older can get the vaccine. Additionally, people 65 and older as well as people in high-risk professions and people who self-attest to underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe outcomes, can obtain booster shots at most pharmacies and clinics.
- How can I get vaccinated? Vaccines are free and available to anyone five and older at city clinics and pharmacies such as CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. Homebound residents can call the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Vaccine Call Center 833-540-0473 for help. You can find out about vaccine locations and availability here.
- Are there many Angelenos who aren’t yet vaccinated? There are 5.9 million fully vaccinated people in L.A. County, which has a total population of 10.3 million. There are still millions yet to get the shot. As of Friday, 72 percent of residents 12 and over were fully vaccinated, and 80 percent had received at least one shot, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
- What is the state of the outbreak? After months of decline, coronavirus cases are going up in Los Angeles County. According to the New York Times Covid-19 tracker, An average of 1,358 cases per day were reported in Los Angeles County over the last two weeks, a spike of 28 percent from the average two weeks ago. Currently, the county is considered high-risk for coronavirus transmission. Overall, there have been more than 1.5 coronavirus cases reported in Los Angeles County since the start of the pandemic.
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