Petition approved to have LA repeal vaccination requirement for indoor spaces
The Los Angeles City Clerk approved a petition for circulation Thursday that aims to have the City Council repeal its requirement that people show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before entering certain indoor public spaces and outdoor mega-events.
According to the Los Angeles City Charter, the petition needs 15% of the total votes cast for the most recent mayoral election, which was held in 2017. If the petition receives enough signatures but the City Council does not adopt the ordinance, it will be presented to voters. The City Clerk said Thursday that it needs 64,785 registered Los Angeles voters to sign the petition within 120 days of the completed petition’s filing. The petition must also be filed within two years of its approval.
The proposed ordinance would repeal the city’s proof of vaccination requirement to enter the indoor portions of certain locations, outdoor large events and city facilities.
The city began enforcing the law on Nov. 29 after being passed by the City Council on Oct. 6.
The law includes enforcement at indoor restaurants, gyms, entertainment and recreational facilities, personal care establishments and some city buildings. It also requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend outdoor events with 5,000 or more people, which is stricter than the Los Angeles County requirement, which applies to outdoor events with 10,000 or more people.
The Department of Building and Safety can issue administrative citations to businesses that violate the ordinance. The citations include a $1,000 fine for a second violation, $2,000 fine for a third violation and a $5,000 fine for a fourth and subsequent violations.
Accepted forms of proof of vaccination include:
— a vaccination card issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or similar documentation issued by another foreign governmental agency;
— a photocopy of a vaccination card or a photograph stored on a phone or electronic device;
— a personal digital COVID-19 vaccination record issued by the state or similar documentation issued by another state, local or foreign government jurisdiction, or by a private company; and
— documentation of a COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider.
People who appear over the age of 18 are also required to show identification with their proof of vaccination.
“We’ve spent too much time placing restrictions on people who did their part by getting vaccinated and wearing their masks. We need to both limit the transmission of the virus as well as make it inconvenient for those who are unvaccinated to access indoor venues and put lives at jeopardy. The stakes are too high,” Council President Nury Martinez, who was one of the leaders of the effort to pass the ordinance, said in October.
People can be exempted from the mandate if they have medical conditions that restrict their ability to get vaccinated or a “sincerely held religious belief,” according to the ordinance. Those exemptions are supposed to be reviewed by the location the person is trying to enter.
The petition’s proponents include Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County Executive Committee members Daniel Welby, Aaron Bonn, Shawn Osborne and the party’s treasurer, Christopher Stare.
Welby told City News Service on Thursday, “We just believe that the vaccine mandates are a gross violation of our constitutional rights and our bodily autonomy. That pretty much sums up the whole thing right there.”