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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LABJ Insider: Take Your Shot

Got vaccine?

If you want to visit some of your favorite Los Angeles businesses — an indoor bar or restaurant, a retailer, a movie theater or a gym — you may soon have to prove you’ve had your jab.

A unanimous vote by the L.A. City Council last week in favor of a vaccine mandate for indoor public spaces marks a big step locally in the ongoing battle with a resurgent Covid-19.

While the move begins on the government side, it reinforces the role businesses continue to play in the pandemic.

For nearly 18 months, L.A.’s shops and restaurants have found themselves on the front lines in this fight.

The consumer-facing businesses that managed to survive the economic turmoil that started in March 2020 have had to follow and enforce mask mandates, social distancing and other public-safety measures.  

Now these same businesses — along with big players that are requiring vaccinations such as Netflix Inc., Live Nation Inc., AEG and WarnerMedia — find themselves on the leading edge again.

Some would call this an opportunity. Governments have led much of the charge until now, but they haven’t been able to get us over the finish line.

Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to let the private sector take it from here.

Want to see “Hamilton” at the Pantages? Watch the Lakers at Staples Center? Eat at Spago or Gjusta? Shop at The Grove? No problem — just show your proof of vaccination.

Don’t have your shot? Looks like you’ll be missing out on a lot of what makes L.A. great.

Although there’s certain to be some resistance to the idea, there also seems to be increasing support for a vaccine mandate. More than 60% of respondents in last week’s Business Journal poll said they favor a vaccine mandate for indoor public spaces in L.A.

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Goodbye Greenblatt’s, you’ll be missed. The Sunset Strip deli closed last week after 95 years. The restaurant’s owners didn’t provide a reason for the sudden shutdown. A favored haunt of A-list actors and comedians, among others, Greenblatt’s joins a long list of iconic L.A. venues that have closed their doors for good during the pandemic.

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