Indoor dining, movie theaters to reopen Monday in Los Angeles County


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As Los Angeles County moves into the red tier thanks to a lower number of COVID-19 cases, indoor operations with limited capacity, such as indoor restaurants and gyms, can resume business as soon as Monday.

Trevor Morgan, Assistant News Editor

County officials announced in a press release that Los Angeles County will move into red tier reopenings starting Monday.

In what the county described as a “major milestone,” the move into the red tier will open up movie theaters, museums and aquariums, gyms, K-12 schools and indoor dining for restaurants at a limited capacity.

L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, welcomed the announcement as good news and stressed its importance to students struggling with distanced learning and small business owners who’ve “borne the brunt of the financial fallout from this pandemic.”

“We have achieved this milestone and moved down to the red tier because as a county we worked hard, looked out for one another and came together to defeat the dark winter surge,” Solis said. “I know our residents will abide by the Health Officer Order so we can continue on this hopeful trajectory and eventually move from the red tier to the orange tier, to the yellow tier and ultimately, out of this pandemic.”

The transition into the new tier is due to the falling rates of COVID-19 cases across L.A. county. According to the county’s press release, the current adjusted case rate is 5.2 new cases per 100,000 people, which is down from 66.4 cases per 100,000 people last December.

The county attributed the drop in cases to residents’ efforts to stop the spread of the virus, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and getting vaccinated.

However, Solis warned that although the county’s efforts are working, this is not the time to stop taking precautions.

“Although we are taking steps to re-open some of the hardest hit sectors of our economy, that in no way means we can drop our guard now,” Solis said. “We owe it to our neighbors, our local businesses, and our children to remain vigilant so that the re-openings are safe and long-lasting — wearing masks and physical distancing remain critical.”

The following is a list of red tier reopenings and the guidelines that come with them, according to the county’s press release:

Restaurants – Indoor dining with modifications:
Maximum of 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Eight feet distancing between tables.
One household per table with a limit of six people.

Restaurants – Outdoor dining with modifications:
Expanded up to six people per table.

Schools (K-12)
Local school officials will decide whether and when that will occur.
Schools may reopen fully for in-person instruction.
Continue to require adherence to L.A. County Public Health school reopening protocols.

Movie theaters
Indoor operations allowed at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Reserved seating required.

Gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios
Indoor operations allowed at 10% capacity.
Climbing walls open.
Gyms can offer personal training.
Masking is always required.

Museums, zoos and aquariums
Indoor capacity at 25%

New guidelines from L.A. County are also in effect to those who have been vaccinated. They are now allowed to gather without a mask in small groups with others who have also been vaccinated, along with other guidelines such as being able to “visit indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without wearing masks or physical distancing, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”

The new guidelines also want those who are vaccinated to refrain from testing or quarantining if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and do not show symptoms.

“We have slowed the spread of this virus dramatically. That means our communities are safer and we are able to safely reopen things like indoor dining and movie theaters and get our kids back to school,” said County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “We cannot and will not let our guard down, but this is long-awaited good news after an incredibly difficult year.”

For information about COVID-19, vaccines and reopening guidelines, visit the LACDPH website.