A year after the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the city, Los Angeles reopened restaurants, outdoor breweries and more due to loosened restrictions announced this week. By Alison Fox
Indoor dining has been opened at 25 per cent capacity, along with museums, zoos, and movie theatres, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Breweries can open outdoor seating with advance reservations required, and clothing stores can open at 50 per cent capacity, according to California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
The businesses were allowed to open after Los Angeles County moved from the “widespread” tier to the “substantial” tier and came after the city was forced to shut businesses down in November due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations.
It also comes just weeks after California said theme parks can look to reopen as early as April, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles County. When the parks do open, they will be limited to 15 per cent capacity in the red “substantial” tier, 25 per cent capacity in the orange “moderate” tier, and 35 per cent capacity in the yellow “minimal” tier.
“That we are here today is not a miracle; our recovery represents the deep commitment by hundreds of thousands of individuals and many thousands of businesses to adhering to safety measures and making sacrifices to keep each other safe,” Dr Barbara Ferrer, the director of LA County’s Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “As we move forward, let’s remember that our re-openings are happening alongside holidays and spring break. Holiday travelling, gatherings indoors and large parties have in the past wrecked our recovery journey. Let’s not repeat past mistakes and let’s pledge to keep everyone alive until it is their turn to get vaccinated.”
To celebrate the loosening of restrictions, Los Angeles Tourism launched LA Love, a campaign of deals and discounts to enjoy the newly reopened city (LA happened to be the most wish-listed destination by Airbnb guests for 2021).
“As Los Angeles begins to safely and responsibly reopen museums, indoor dining, theme parks, and outdoor live events and spectator sports – all with appropriate capacity controls and approved health protocols – we’ve made it easier than ever to #StartYourComeback in LA, whenever you’re ready,” President & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Adam Burke, told Travel + Leisure on Tuesday. “Both visitors and residents alike can take advantage of over 100 special deals on hotels, restaurants and attractions to help celebrate the start of LA’s comeback.”
But for those who can’t plan a trip in-person right away, there are virtual experiences, including ones celebrating black history in the city as well as a tour of The J Paul Getty Museum.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.