Los Angeles' vaccine mandate went into effect today, requiring locals and visitors to show proof of vaccination to enter commercial establishments such as restaurants, bars, museums, theaters, sports venues and even nail salons. Similar to New York's and San Francisco's vaccine requirement, albeit slightly stricter, LA's mandate comes into play amid a rise in Delta-driven coronavirus case numbers.

If you plan on visiting LA, you'll need to show proof of vaccination to enjoy many of the activities the city has to offer thanks to a sweeping new vaccine mandate that comes into effect today. LA's mandate covers more businesses than New York City's or San Francisco's, requiring that patrons and employees are vaccinated before entering restaurants, bars, cafes, theaters, museums, sports and entertainment venues, beauty salons, and all indoor City buildings.

It applies to anyone over the age of 12, though there are certain exemptions; people who cannot get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons don't have to show proof of vaccination, but they must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test instead.

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While the mandate is effective from today, there is an adjustment period to allow businesses and people to get their jabs and documentation in order, and proof of vaccination won't actually be required for entry to most businesses until November 29, NPR reports.

Visitors from outside California can present their white logo Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paper vaccination cards to enter venues. International visitors to LA who were vaccinated outside of the US can show a paper or digital copy of their official vaccine record. While residents have a second option, as California has created an online system for people to upload their vaccination status—with a barcode that can be scanned at entry points. 

Exterior of the Getty museum in Los Angeles
Proof of vaccination will be required to enter a range of venues in LA including museums such as the Getty Museum ©bonandbon/Shutterstock

The vaccine mandate has arrived at a point when case numbers are rising across the wider county, according to LA Public Health. But vaccination numbers are also on the rise, with public health officials confirming that 71% of the population of Los Angeles County is now fully vaccinated.

Outlining the vaccine mandate plan last month, LA's mayor Eric Garcetti stressed vaccination is the key to ending the pandemic. "We must do everything in our power to keep pushing those [vaccination] numbers up,” he said. "These new rules will encourage more people to get the shot, and make businesses safer for workers and customers—so that we can save more lives, better protect the vulnerable, and make our communities even safer as we fight this pandemic."

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As of October 7, LA's large theme parks—including Universal Studios Hollywood and, on select daysSix Flags Magic Mountain – require attendees over the age of 12 to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result (taken within 72 hours) before entering. Guests are also required to wear their masks at all times in theme parks, unless they are eating or drinking.

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This article was first published August 2021 and updated November 2021

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