L.A. County Will Loosen Covid-19 Restrictions In Line With California, Including Outdoor Dining

“Los Angeles County will essentially align with the state,” said L.A. County Board Chair Hilda Solis on Monday afternoon, “which will include outdoor dining.” She said those changes would happen by the end of the week.

The county’s ban on outdoor dining technically expired on Dec. 16, but patio dining remained prohibited under the state’s Regional Stay-at-Home Order, which is now lifted.

Solis went on to warn the the restrictions could be re-instituted if virus variants began to impact the region negatively or if residents’ behavior caused new increases.

“The Super Bowl is coming up and we’ve seen what happens when people gather for a sporting event in each others’ homes,” she said.

Attorney Mark Geragos, who sued the county on behalf of his own downtown restaurant and another eatery in Sherman Oaks, wrote on Twitter Monday morning, “There is no prohibition against outdoor dining” in the county now that the state’s order has been lifted.

County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who argued against a dining ban, issued a statement saying, “I support following the governor’s recommended guidelines for Southern California, and reopening outdoor dining, personal care services and other industries that were previously closed by these orders. A data-driven and pragmatic policy approach is essential to protecting public health, while balancing the devastating social, emotional and economic impacts of this virus.”

Supervisor Janice Hahn also said she hopes restaurants are allowed to resume outdoor service in the county.

“We should align ourselves with the state as much as possible, which means, among other things, reopening outdoor dining with commonsense health protocols in place as soon as possible,” Hahn said. “The restaurant industry was devastated by this lengthy shutdown and I know this would be welcome news to them.”

As of Monday morning, the county’s website still indicated that all personal-care businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, massage businesses and barbershops remain closed. County health officials were set to hold a press conference at 2 p.m.

Bars remain closed in all counties in the “purple” tier of the state’s four-level economic reopening matrix. The vast majority of counties in the state, including all of Southern California, are in the “purple” tier.

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