While some governors and political officials have refused to order vaccine mandates on the state, the Los Angeles City Council just approved one of the strictest ones yet. The City Council just approved vaccine mandates to enter most indoor places including restaurants, gyms, indoor venues, and other businesses. They state that they need to both “limit the transmission of the virus,” as well as “make it inconvenient” for those who are unvaccinated.
The vote on the new mandate passed 11-2 on a number of businesses including restaurants, personal care establishments, shopping centers, and bars. The list goes on to include coffee shops, gyms, museums, bowling alleys, spas, and a range of other venues. State residents could submit medical or religious exemptions in order to use the facilities but would still have to show a recent negative COVID-19 test. The order states that unvaccinated customers can still use the restroom or pick up a takeout order.
The new mandate would exclude grocery stores and pharmacies, with Mayor Eric Garcetti saying he intends to sign the measure into law. L.A City Council President Nury Martinez even admits that they’ve spent far too much time placing restrictions on the vaccinated people and said they needed to make it “inconvenient” for those who are unvaccinated. He said it’s clear that “vaccines work” but that there are too many people still unvaccinated despite widespread availability and door-to-door campaigns. 78% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 69% are fully vaccinated, according to public health officials.
While some city council members said they expressed concerns over the order, others said nothing in it requires you to go and get vaccinated. “You have rights. You have liberties. But with those rights and liberties come obligations to protect fellow members of your society as well,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian.
The council members state that the policy will remain in effect until the emergency mandate is lifted. They said they support the ordinance as it will reduce the risk of new COVID-19 surges in the nation’s second-most populous city. They’ve continued to face a rise in infections and hospitalizations, with most officials linking them back to the Delta Variant. There is no indication, however, as to when the emergency mandate will be lifted.
Critics pushed back that while the county isn’t forcing anyone to get the vaccine, they are not letting residents do anything without one. Others asked why the county would be doubling down on mandate measured when vaccinated people are getting infected in record numbers. They said a mandate like this would only amount to segregation for those who refuse or cannot get vaccinated.
Business trade groups in the area have also said that they believe the mandate would “sow confusion” to surrounding communities, where the mandates may be less sweeping.
Council and Mayoral Candidate Joe Buscaino challenged the enforcements as “being clear as mud” and said it would make a teenager serve as a bouncer to keep people in or out of a restaurant and then fine the business for any failure in it. He said it is not the way to go and creates even more conflict between the city measures and county vaccination mandates.
Democrat city officials are so focused on everyone complying that they’ve forgotten all about conflict. You have rights and liberties and they do not depend on a hospitalization number or handful of bias studies.