New LA County health order to require proof of COVID vaccination for indoor areas of bars, wineries

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new Los Angeles County health order will be issued later this week requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all customers and employees in indoor areas of bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges, the county's public health director announced Wednesday.

Patrons and employees will be mandated to have at least one dose of vaccine by Oct. 7 and receive their second by Nov. 4, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

The order will strongly recommend, but not require, vaccine verification for indoor portions of restaurants.

The order will also require all attendees, employees and participants of outdoor "mega-events" -- those attended by 10,000 or more people -- to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours.

"This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk of transmission and increase vaccination coverage,'' Ferrer told the county Board of Supervisors. "This is a reasonable path forward that will position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.''

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Ferrer said county health officials "believe that targeted vaccine mandates are now a very important strategy for quickly raising vaccination coverage across our county and ending the pandemic.''

The vaccination and testing requirement for outdoor mega-events -- including Dodgers, Rams and Chargers games -- will take effect Oct. 7. Officials say regardless of vaccination status, a mask will still be required for mega-events.

Attendees at indoor mega-events of 5,000 or more people are already required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

Ferrer said the county will be working with operators of all affected venues to discuss implementation strategies. She noted that the vaccine-verification mandate at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges should not be onerous for the businesses, since they already must check patrons' IDs to ensure they are of legal drinking age.

The restrictions will be included in a revised Health Officer Order expected to be issued by Friday in an effort to get more people vaccinated against the virus, Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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