Los Angeles, San Francisco transfer to curtail COVID-19 vaccine checks

SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles and San Francisco officials took steps Wednesday to end requirements that certain businesses require patrons to show proof of full vaccination as new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations continued falling.

The Los Angeles City Council ordered the city attorney to craft an ordinance that makes vaccine verification voluntary for indoor areas of businesses such as bars, restaurants and gyms, and eliminates proof of vaccination for large outdoor events.

A final vote will be taken when the ordinance is introduced at a future council meeting. There was no immediate indication of when that will occur.

Proof of vaccination or a negative test will continue to be required to attend indoor “mega-events” with 1,000 or more people in the nation’s second-largest city.

San Francisco on Friday will stop requiring proof of vaccination to enter indoor businesses including restaurants, bars, fitness centers and gyms.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health said it will be up to businesses to choose whether to require proof of vaccination or a negative test from their staff and customers.

Proof of vaccination will still be required to enter indoor “mega” events in accordance with state guidelines, the department said in a statement.

San Francisco was one of the first cities in the country to require proof of vaccination before entering certain indoor businesses. City officials issued the mandate in August as the delta variant spread.

“With cases and hospitalizations continuing to fall and our high vaccination rate providing a strong defense against the virus, San Francisco is ready to further reduce COVID-19 restrictions and allow individuals to make their own decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Health Officer, Dr Susan Philip.

The vast majority of city residents, or 83%, are fully vaccinated.

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