Los Angeles County Revises Restaurant Protocols and Announces Live Event Rules

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Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP

On April 17, 2021, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (“Department”) revised its protocol for restaurants to permit increased activities in light of the County’s Orange Tier reopening.

The changes include:

  • Allowing restaurants to have live outdoor entertainment. Live entertainment operations are allowed outdoors only.  Performers must be at least 12 feet away from seated customer groups.
  • Allowing restaurants to host private events when the restaurant is not operating for regular business. Private events are subject to a separate protocol and restaurants hosting these events must follow all private event rules.
  • Employees who are fully vaccinated may choose not to wear a face shield (a change from previous guidance requiring that all restaurant employees wear both a face mask and face shield), provided that they show acceptable proof of full vaccination to their employer. Face mask requirements for fully vaccinated employees remain in effect.
  • Updating guidance for distancing between customer groups.

Additionally, on April 15, 2021, the Department announced a protocol to allow live events and performances, including outdoor and indoor events.  This protocol permits venues to increase capacity if they require that all guests show proof of vaccination or negative test results.

Under the event protocol for indoor events:

  • Venues that seat up to 1,500 persons may operate with a maximum occupancy of 15% of capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Venues that seat more than 1,500 persons may operate with a maximum occupancy is 10% of capacity or 2,000, whichever is fewer.
  • Venues of any size may open at 35% of capacity if all guests either show a recent negative test result or show proof of full vaccination.

Tickets for indoor seated live events must be purchased in advance and delivered digitally to customers.  Only in-state residents may purchase tickets for and attend indoor seated live events.  Fully vaccinated persons from out of state may visit or attend activities or events that are restricted to in-state visitors.

Under the protocol for outdoor events, large outdoor venues may be open to the public for outdoor operations at 33% maximum occupancy.  However, outdoor venues may increase attendance capacity to 67%, if all guests show the venue proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within the 72 hours prior to attendance or proof of full vaccination.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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