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Another restaurant-rich California city adopts vaccine mandates

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An emergency order requiring dine-in patrons and employees of restaurants in West Hollywood, Calif., to show proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 was ratified Tuesday by the City Council, ensuring the mandates will take effect in a matter of weeks.

Patrons at least 18 years old will need to present documentation of full inoculation starting Oct. 11 if they wish to dine indoors.

Employees will have until Nov. 1 to provide proof they’ve been fully inoculated if they wish to work indoors.

The measure differs from the vaccine mandates of other cities by limiting access to individuals who’ve been vaccinated. Proof of a recent negative test for COVID will not be sufficient to permit entry of a guest or staff member. The documentation must verify that the person seeking entry has received both shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Patrons dining outside, along with the employees working those stations, do not need to provide proof.

Individuals under age 18 are exempted from the mandate.

With the ratification of the emergency order issued Sept. 10 to slow the spread of coronavirus, West Hollywood adds another spot on the California map where vaccines are required to dine indoors at a restaurant. San Francisco and Palm Springs have already enacted a requirement.

West Hollywood is also the first section of the greater Los Angeles area to adopt a vaccination requirement for restaurant patrons. Los Angeles County has imposed a proof-of-inoculation mandate for bars, breweries and nightclubs, but it stopped short last week of extending the scope to restaurants. Eating establishments are encouraged to limit access to the vaccinated but are not required to do so.

Vaccine requirements have now been enacted by New York City, New Orleans, Oakland, Honolulu, Seattle and several counties in Washington. A group of lawmakers in Chicago are pushing to add their city to the list.

President Biden has aired a plan to mandate that all employees of restaurants and other companies with at least 100 workers on their payrolls be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test less than a week old.  The administration has not yet revealed when that obligation will go into effect, and how it will be enforced.

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