Safe Pass LA: Vaccination Guidelines for LA City Small Businesses

Safe Pass LA: Vaccination Guidelines for LA City Small Businesses

November 1, 2021


These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are intended to assist covered locations in complying with SafePassLA (Ordinance No. 187219), which requires patrons of covered locations to demonstrate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 before entering indoor spaces and large outdoor events within the City of Los Angeles.

SafePassLA only requires patrons of businesses to show proof of vaccination. Employees are not included in the SafePassLA program and therefore employers are not required to verify proof of vaccination for their employees, although they are strongly encouraged to do so. SafePassLA is effective November 8, 2021. Enforcement begins November 29, 2021. Download a consolidated PDF of these frequently asked questions to satisfy protocol requirements. Updated copies will be provided as they become available.

Types of Establishments and Settings

Verifying Proof of Vaccination

Types of Proof of Vaccination

  • What types of proof of vaccination are sufficient?
    1. A vaccination card issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or similar documentation issued by another foreign governmental agency, such as the World Health Organization.
    2. A photocopy of a vaccination card or a photograph stored on a phone or electronic device.
    3. A personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record issued by the State of California, or similar documentation issued by another state, local, or foreign governmental jurisdiction, or by a private company.
    4. Documentation of a COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider.
  • What if an individual refuses to show proof of vaccination?
    An individual who refuses to show proof of vaccination may not enter the indoor area except for a quick and limited purpose, such as using the bathroom, picking up food, paying a bill, or changing in a locker room. The individual should also be wearing a mask.
  • What kind of proof must be shown to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test?
    Patrons can show a negative COVID-19 test in lieu of proof of vaccination to enter a large outdoor event with a cumulative attendance over the period of the event between 5,000 and 9,999. A negative COVID-19 test can also be used by patrons with a valid medical or religious exemption to enter an indoor area, if an outdoor space is not available.

    Test results must be on a printed document, email, or text message displayed on a phone from a test provider or laboratory that shows results of a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test that was conducted within 72 hours before entry.

    The printed document, email, or text message must include the person’s name, type of test performed, date of the test, and negative test result.

    Examples of a negative COVID-19 test result can be found on the LA County Public Health website.

    A patron may not use a self-test/at-home test.

Required Signs and Documents

Equitable Implementation & Reasonable Accommodations

  • Do I need to provide any reasonable accommodations to patrons?
    A patron may be exempt from demonstrating proof of a COVID-19 vaccination if they are entitled to reasonable accommodation under an applicable law due to a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief.

    To be eligible for an exemption due to a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief, a patron must provide the covered location with a verbal self-attestation that they qualify for the exemption. A covered location does not need to verify the validity of a self-attestation or ask for any documentation to confirm the exemption.

    If the covered location determines that the patron has met the requirements of the exemption, the patron should be directed to use an outdoor area. If an outdoor area is not available, the patron may be permitted to use an indoor area by providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to entry, along with photo identification.

Resources for Businesses


  • What should a restaurant or other private business do when a customer refuses to show proof of vaccination?
    If a customer refuses to show their proof of vaccination, staff at a covered location should try to offer an alternative service method. For example, a restaurant may offer the option to dine outdoors or to take the order to-go.

    In the case of a gym, the operator may offer an outdoor fitness area, if available.

    If there is a verbal or physical altercation that appears to threaten life or property, businesses should call 911 to report an emergency situation.
  • How will SafePassLA requirements be enforced?
    Inspectors from the Department of Building and Safety, and any authorized agents, will enforce the ordinance beginning on November 29, 2021.
  • Are there any penalties for noncompliance?
    An operator of a covered location or outdoor large event may be issued a citation for failure to comply with the ordinance. The Administrative Citation schedule is as follows:
    1. A warning and a notice to correct for a first violation.
    2. An administrative fine of $1,000 for a second violation.
    3. An administrative fine of $2,000 for a third violation.
    4. An administrative fine of $5,000 for a fourth and each subsequent violation.

Getting Vaccinated

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