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Los Angeles passes vaccine mandate, but it will not apply to Staples Center

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Los Angeles will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter indoor businesses, but the strict legislation will not impact the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and NHL's Kings at Staples Center. 

The Los Angeles City Council is the latest government entity to pass a local vaccine mandate on Wednesday, the New York Times reported. It will go into effect on Nov. 29 with few strict exceptions for those with medical conditions that do not allow them to be vaccinated or those with "sincerely held religious objection." Those few individuals who are not vaccinated can instead show proof of a negative test taken within the past 72 hours. 

Los Angeles vaccine mandate does not apply to Staples Center

Staples Center officials said on Thursday that the ordinance does not apply to its arena or Microsoft Theater as they "are already subject to an existing LACDPH order addressing this subject matter," per ESPN.

"STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater will continue to follow the protocols established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) which requires guests to show proof of being fully vaccinated or providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to event date in addition to wearing approved face coverings when not actively eating or drinking," the locations' officials said in a statement. 

The NBA, which begins its season on Oct. 19, said last month local laws do apply to players. The Lakers and Clippers organizations have both said their teams will be fully vaccinated by the start of the season. The Kings said they are fully vaccinated. 

LA joins NY, San Francisco in vaccine mandate 

New York City became the first in the nation to require proof of vaccination for workers and customers at indoor dining, physical fitness and entertainment locations. San Francisco and other cities and counties in California also passed requirements. 

The laws directly impact the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. There is a loophole in the law that allows visiting players to play in games in New York and San Francisco as long as they return negative COVID-19 tests. That "non-resident performers" exemption applies in Los Angeles as well. 

The Warriors were concerned Andrew Wiggins, who initially refused to get vaccinated, would miss games. Wiggins recently received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and made his first public comments about last week at media day. 

Players unable to attend practices

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving was unable to attend media day in person because of the mandate and is now missing practices. Head coach Steve Nash said he won't move practices out of the city just so that Irving could attend. 

Those players in violation of a local COVID-19 requirement will forfeit 1/91.6th of their salary for every game missed, per an agreement between the NBA and the player's union. For Irving it's approximately $381,000 per game and if he missed all 41 home contests, it would be $15.6 million of his $34.9 million salary. 

All NBA coaches, front office and medical staff, security, team communications staff, scorer's table staff and officials are required to be vaccinated to work. 

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