The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-2 last week to require proof of vaccination—against COVID-19—for patrons to enter indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms, malls, movie theaters, coffee shops, or any other nightlife establishments in general. Council Members Joe Buscaino and John Lee opposed the ordinance for reasons that could potentially hurt already struggling retailers.
The city council justifies its vote by asserting that transmission of the virus needs to be dealt with at the root of the problem. Nightlife establishments in particular are notorious for the lack of social-distancing. Since there are already mixed-feelings about the vaccination, the city council wants to make it ‘inconvenient’ for those who are intentionally rejecting the vaccine.
“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 in jeopardy,” Council President Nury Martinez said last week, explaining why she felt the council should approve the measure.”
Enforcing the vaccination mandate is perhaps the biggest objection to the new ordinance, especially since the mask mandate has been poorly, or inconsistently, enforced through out the many jurisdictions in California. A barista’s job description never mentioned that enforcing health ordinances and requirements would be a part of the job they signed up for. It is ultimately up to establishments to enforce mask and vaccination mandates, but this is starting to stir up controversy due to the amount of harassment employees are facing from customers.
NewMark Merrill CEO Sandy Sigal, who oversees the company that owns over 85 shopping centers in three states, remarked that the clear and present disrespect from ‘anti-vaxxers’ to store employees is making it easy to not care about enforcement.
“It becomes a whole thing,” Sigal said. “And at some point, people who are just trying to do the right thing say, ‘You know what? It’s not worth it. I’m not willing to deal with this.’”
Many retailers will ultimately suffer from the new mandates whether through harassment by customers, or simply losing business because people no longer feel welcomed—from a customer service standpoint. One way of solving the harassment by patrons could be to hire someone that is willing to enforce, and many night clubs already have a bouncer to do this, however, now you are asking struggling retailers to incur extra costs if they don’t have a similar role.
According to the new ordinance, if you plan to enter nightlife establishments such as some of the ones listed above, you will need proof of vaccination by Nov. 4. Other entertainment venues such as Staples Center, Honda Center, or Disneyland will require proof of vaccination or a negative test result within days of your attendance, each and every time.
For unvaccinated season ticket holders of say the Anaheim Ducks, that’s almost 40 covid tests in about 8 months…