LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Nearly a week into requiring all customers and staff to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, the owner of Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant said today he has received mostly positive feedback about the requirement.
“You've got to do the right thing. If people don't have a place to go eat, they will eventually get vaccinated. I don't want to do the city's job or the government's job, but my job at the moment is to protect everybody to the best of my ability and that's what I'm doing,'' Norm Langer told City News Service.
Los Angeles officials are considering requiring proof of at least partial vaccination before people can enter public indoor spaces in the city, including restaurants, bars, gyms, concern venues, movie theaters and even “retail establishments.'' The proposal -- introduced Wednesday by Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O'Farrell -- is similar but more restrictive than a New York policy, which doesn't include retail establishments.
The California Restaurant Association President and CEO Jot Condie responded to the potential mandate with a statement that said:
“If asking patrons for proof of vaccination in indoor public spaces can help us all avoid more shutdowns, massive layoffs and operating limits, then we will do everything we reasonably can to assist the efforts of local public health officers, as we have done since the beginning of this pandemic.''
He added that “some restaurants have already been requiring proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID test for indoor diners -- and the CRA supports a restaurant's right to go above and beyond what local and state safety mandates have required.''
Langer said his deli -- which was opened by his father Albert in 1947 - - began on Saturday requiring anyone who enters the restaurant to show proof of vaccination. The hostesses are typically tasked with checking, but on busy days servers and supervisors check as well, Langer said. As of 1 p.m. Friday, 18 people were turned away for the day. On Thursday, 31 people were denied entry, said Langer, who declined to say how many people eat at the deli each day.
“All I'm going to say is `a lot,''' Langer said.
Langer's requirement also applies to employees, but his assistant has an exemption because of pregnancy and the deli's head chef has a medical exemption, according to Langer.
“It's something I put in effect to protect my employees but also to protect my customers. A lot of customers don't want to eat inside, they want to eat outside. I don't offer outside dining, so this is something else I can do to help with the people that have a concern. At least people coming here to eat know that everyone coming in here has been checked and has been vaccinated,'' Langer said.
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