Thinking about going bar-hopping in Los Angeles this weekend? Be sure to bring proof of your Covid vaccination.
L.A. County’s public health director said today that proof of vax soon will be required for patrons of indoor bars and nightclubs. The new rules also will include proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours for theme parks or outdoor events with 10,000 people or more, starting October 7. Those rules currently apply only to indoor mega-events.
An updated and revised Health Officer Order is expected by Friday.
“This modified Health Officer Order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk of transmission and increase vaccination coverage,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors today. “This is a reasonable path forward that will position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.”
The order will require proof of vaccination for patrons and employees in indoor portions of bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges. All customers and workers will need at least one dose of vaccine by October 7 and a second by November 4. The plan also will recommend — but not require — vaccine verification for employees and customers in indoor portions of restaurants.
Ferrer said some of the things people do in bars, such as singing and dancing, tend to present a higher risk of Covid transmission than a sit-down restaurant. She added that the order is more targeted at “drinking establishments” without restaurant permits.
“There is a cyclical nature to this virus, and as long as we have large numbers of unvaccinated people here in the county, we’re at the mercy of the cyclical nature of the (virus),” Ferrer told the supervisors. “We doom ourselves in some ways to potentially another surge later in October, November, December, when conditions really favor Covid-19 virus replication if we’re not really diligent now and take some actions that will reduce risks of exposure.
The 17,500-seat Hollywood Bowl announced separately today that its audiences will face a vaccine-or-testing mandate beginning September 24.
City News Service contributed to this report.