West Hollywood to Go 'Vaccination Only' for Restaurants, Bars, Gyms

Clients patronizing businesses which have a high risk of COVID-19 transmission in West Hollywood, California, will have to provide proof of full vaccination from next month.

On Friday, the city of West Hollywood issued the emergency order which should take effect "as soon as possible, but no later than October 11," in light of the Delta variant, whose transmission rate remains stubbornly high in Los Angeles County.

The order applies to patrons aged over 18 of businesses serving food or drinks indoors, health and fitness facilities as well as personal care establishments like tattoo parlors, nail salons and hair salons.

Staff working at these businesses will also have to provide vaccination proof no later than November 1.

West Hollywood bar
A notice calling for patrons to social distance by The Abbey Food & Bar on January 29, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. West Hollywood has ordered COVID-19 vaccine verification requirements. VALERIE MACON/Getty

These locations all pose an elevated risk of transmission because patrons remove masks and are in close proximity with others, the order said. Those without vaccination proof can use outdoor areas of covered business facilities.

Acceptable forms of proof include CDC vaccination cards, a photo or copy of vaccination card, documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider, or a digital COVID-19 vaccine record.

The disease "continues to present an imminent threat to the health and safety of City of West Hollywood residents," said the order by David Wilson, city manager of emergency services, "although vaccines are now widely available, many people in the State and County are still not fully vaccinated and remain susceptible to infection."

Los Angeles County has seen three consecutive weeks of decline in its COVID transmission rate although it is still high by federal standards and there are concerns about low vaccination rates.

On Friday, LA county public health director Barbara Ferrer said that the local COVID-19 transmission rates for the week had fallen 35 percent to 104 per 100,000 people as mask mandates and slowly rising vaccination rates have an effect.

However, this is still above the benchmark of 100 which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers a high transmission rate.

In addition, Ferrer said "we are making very little progress" on vaccinations as she lamented how over the last week only about 56,000 doses were administered in the county, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

She said she hoped the vaccine mandate announced by President Joe Biden for workers at firms with more than 100 staff, as well as the mandate announced by the Los Angeles Unified School District for eligible students 12 or over would increase vaccine take-up.

The graphic below by Statista shows the share of people who say their employer encourages or requires COVID vaccination.

One in five Americans under COVID mandate
Almost one in five Americans have said they are required by their employer to get vaccinated against COVID-19 Newsweek/Statista