Los Angeles considers ending vaccine verification mandate

The motion would make vaccine verifications voluntary at specified establishments

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The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to end a requirement that many indoor businesses and large outdoor events verify that customers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The motion proposed by council President Nury Martinez would make vaccination verifications voluntary at such establishments as restaurants, bars, gyms and personal care businesses.

The measure needs at least 12 votes to pass to meet the council's "urgency" threshold and so it could go into effect quickly. A simple majority would also approve the measure, but it wouldn't go into effect for several weeks if that happens.

COVID-19 information signs are on display in the window of a restaurant in San Francisco, California. 

COVID-19 information signs are on display in the window of a restaurant in San Francisco, California.  (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The council last week voted 13-1 to approve the measure, but it needed a unanimous vote to pass, meaning a second vote was required.

Councilman Mike Bonin said he voted against lifting the requirement because of concerns about the spread of new variants.

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"I know it feels like we’re out of the woods. It feels like we’re all going back to normal. But there’s new variants and new strains all the time," Bonin said, adding that he hoped he was wrong.

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While COVID-19 metrics have been declining in Los Angeles County, public health officials have reported an increasing number of cases of the more-infectious BA.2 subvariant.