Masks will be optional for fully vaccinated guests at Los Angeles County businesses, establishments and venues that ask for proof of vaccination against COVID-19, Starting Friday, February 25.
L.A. Public Health made the adjustment as COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased and data showed fully vaccinated individuals were 13 times less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 complications.
“Given decreased risk, Public Health is modifying the Health Officer Order to allow establishments, businesses, and venues verifying vaccination status to offer optional masking for fully vaccinated individuals,” L.A. Public Health noted in a media release. “Given lower hospital admissions and the effectiveness of the vaccines in reducing severe illness, changes have been made in the Health Officer Order that allow establishments, businesses, or venues two options for removing masking requirements for fully vaccinated individuals.”
Fully vaccinated workers may also unmask, so long as the employer asks employees to show proof of vaccination, or provide a negative COVID-19, on top of the guest requirement.
Both guests and workers who opt to not show proof of vaccination must still wear a mask, even with a negative COVID-19 test.
If a guest shows a negative PCR test, it must have been taken within 48 hours of entering the establishment. A negative antigen test, such as at-home tests, must have been taken within a day.
The regulations are not quite aligned with the state’s regulations, which also allow vaccinated individuals to go maskless, but do not require businesses to check for proof of vaccination or negative tests.
“This puts us significantly closer to aligning with the State,” L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said.
On March 15, L.A. County lifted its mask mandate for vaccinated individuals attending outdoor “mega events,” as well as in outdoor school settings.