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Los Angeles city officials are set to implement some of the nation’s strictest COVID-19 vaccine verification rules next week, but they don’t plan to immediately cite or fine those who run afoul of the new regulations. According to the article in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. officials plan to start with educational and outreach efforts, rather than immediately penalize businesses when rules go into effect Monday.

That’s similar to the approach of officials in Los Angeles County as a whole. While both the county and city have rules requiring residents to show proof of vaccination to enter certain businesses, the county’s rules affect fewer types of establishments compared with those of the city.

Enforcement of the city program, dubbed SafePassLA, won’t officially begin until Nov. 29. Starting that date, businesses or venues that flout the rules will face penalties – at first a warning, then an escalating series of fines starting at $1,000 and topping out at $5,000 for a fourth or subsequent violation.

The city’s rules are expansive, requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, shopping centers, movie theaters, hair and nail salons, coffee shops, gyms, museums, bowling alleys, performance venues and other spaces.

Attendees of outdoor events with 5,000 or more people also will have to show proof of vaccination or that they’ve recently tested negative for the coronavirus.

L.A. County, on the other hand, has imposed vaccine verification requirements in only a few business sectors: indoor bars, wineries, breweries, distilleries, nightclubs and lounges. Initially, patrons and employees in those spaces needed to show only they’d received at least one vaccine dose. But as of Thursday, they are required to demonstrate they are fully vaccinated.

L.A. County’s verification requirement has been in place for nearly a month, but health officials said this week they have yet to cite any businesses for noncompliance. County officials have regularly said they favor education over enforcement when implementing new coronavirus-related health measures.

Though it’s early, it appears many businesses are already toeing the line. From Oct. 16 to 22, county public health inspectors visited 78 bars and found 85% of them were following the requirement to verify customers’ vaccination status. And preliminary findings from the weekend of Oct. 23 and 24 indicate that 90% of bars and 100% of visited lounges and nightclubs were in compliance.

Some have worried that the disconnect between the city and county requirements will spark confusion among businesses and customers, potentially leading to unwitting violations. County health officials confirmed this week they are not considering any changes to their rules.