By Lita Martínez

Originally published Sep 15, 2021

Los Angeles County is gearing up to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for employees and customers at bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges.

The new requirement will take effect next month, when a revised health officer order that’s expected to come down later this week, kicks in. The order comes with a timeline for people to get their shots. You’ll need to have at least one dose by Oct. 7, and the second dose by Nov. 4. Negative test results will no longer be accepted at those businesses.

Beginning Oct. 7, the order will also require full vaccinations or a recent negative COVID-19 test for people attending or working at outdoor “mega events.” These are classified as gatherings with more than 10,000 people, such as concerts and sporting events.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors Wednesday the measure is necessary to prevent yet another wave of infections.

“This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increased vaccination coverage,” Ferrer said. “This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.”

While there are still questions about enforcement, Ferrer told the supervisors her department is preparing to help businesses confirm the vaccine status of customers.

The order will also recommend, but not require, venues to check the vaccine status of customers who choose to sit indoors at restaurants.

The cities of Long Beach and Pasadena have their own health departments. Long Beach says it will abide by the county’s health order. Pasadena says it is assessing the order and will have direction by early next week.

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