Los Angeles County has come a long way since Covid rates spiked in early February, and on Thursday officials expanded indoor capacity at bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, amusement parks and other retail locations.
The county becomes the first one in Southern California to hit that yellow tier of reopening, the lowest level since the state set its criteria last year, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Bars can now reopen indoors without serving food, but will still be capped at 25% capacity or maximum of 100 people. Patrons will still be unable to sit at the bar, and masks are still mandatory. Restaurants can now allow more than 200 people — as long as the establishments operate under 50% capacity.
The yellow tier also gives movie theaters and live events a needed boost. Theaters can now operate at 50% capacity — up from a previous cap of 25% or a maximum of 100 people — according to the report.
Live and seated indoor events can reach 2,000 guests or 10% capacity, whichever is fewer. And the county has added a vaccination clause: if every attendee has proof of full vaccination or a negative test, the venue can open up to 50% capacity.
The county had allowed businesses to reopen indoors in March, after the state met a goal of administering 2 million Covid vaccines.
Around 47% of residents in L.A. County have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, but vaccination rates have dropped in recent weeks.
[LAT] — Isabella Farr