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COVID-19 Prevention in Public Settings


In Los Angeles County, most places can operate with no social distancing or capacity restrictions. However, everyone must wear a mask when they are in indoor public settings and at outdoor Mega Events regardless of their vaccination status.

This is because of the continuing spread of COVID-19 and the increasing presence of the Delta variant, which spreads more easily. While people carry out their everyday activities, it is important to take steps to stay safe.

Wear a mask indoors, regardless of your vaccination status

You are required by the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order to wear a mask in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and public and private businesses in Los Angeles County. You are also required to wear a mask at outdoor Mega Events (events with over 10,000 attendees like concerts, professional sporting events and parades).

You are allowed to take off your mask while you are:

  • Actively eating or drinking, as long as you are sitting or standing in a specific place such as a table, counter, or ticketed seat. This means that you can briefly remove your mask when you are actually eating or drinking but you must put it back on immediately afterwards. You must also wear a mask when you are waiting to be served, between courses or drinks, and while seated after finishing your food or drink.
  • Alone in a separate room or office.
  • Showering or swimming.
  • Performing or receiving a personal hygiene or personal care service (like a facial or shave) that cannot be done without removing your mask.

There are some people who should not wear a mask, such as children younger than 2, people with certain medical conditions or disabilities, and people instructed by their doctor not to wear a mask. Children ages 2 to 8 should wear a mask only when under adult supervision. To learn more about mask wearing visit ph.lacounty.gov/masks.

If you are an employee in a workplace in Los Angeles County, you must wear a mask indoors even when it is not required by the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). This is because you must follow the more protective mask requirements in the County Health Officer Order. Certain employees may be exempt from wearing a mask in specific situations if other safety measures are in place. See the Health Officer Order and Best Practices for Businesses webpage for details of workplace requirements.

Show proof of vaccination or have a negative COVID-19 test to enter Indoor Mega Events

Beginning September 20, 2021, new rules will apply for Indoor Mega Events. These are events with over 1,000 attendees like conferences, expos, concerts and sporting events.

To enter, you must show proof that either:

  • You are fully vaccinated
  • or
  • You had a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours of the event. The result must be from the test provider or laboratory and can be a print copy or in an email or text message on a phone.

Follow the rules set by the business or venue

You are required to wear a mask outdoors at Mega Events and at any other business if that is the policy of the venue.

Businesses, workplaces, and community organizations may have other rules in place for the safety of staff, visitors, and the community. For example,

  • Some activities and events may require reservations, advanced ticket purchase, or only accept contact-less payment.
  • Some fitness centers may choose to operate at reduced capacity or cap fitness class sizes.
  • Restaurants and ticketed events may have limited seating.
  • Some venues, including entertainment venues or events may require attendees to be tested for COVID-19 or show proof of vaccination. This is required for all events with over 1,000 attendees (see above). Check with the organizers before you go or buy a ticket.
All visitors must follow the posted rules.

Consider these best practices, especially if you are not fully vaccinated

Wear a mask in crowded outdoor venues. (Note masks are required in outdoor Mega Events, see above.)

  • This includes while waiting in line, for example to enter, exit, use the bathroom, or buy food or drinks. This is strongly recommended.

Double mask or wear a respirator if you are in close contact with other people who may not be fully vaccinated.

  • Consider “double masking” (wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask) or wearing an N95 respirator for a higher level of protection. This is especially important if you are not fully vaccinated and are in an indoor or crowded outdoor setting.

Maintain social distancing

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 2 arms lengths away from others (about 6 feet) if possible.
  • If you have small children with you, keep them close by so that they are away from others.

Wash your hands often

  • Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid eating and touching your face with unclean hands.

Select outdoor activities with better air flow

  • For example, when dining out, opt for outdoor seating. Exercise outdoors when possible. If outdoors is not possible, choose indoor spaces with good air flow.

To learn more about how to reduce your risk and slow the spread of COVID-19 including which situations are riskier, visit ph.lacounty.gov/reducerisk.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against COVID-19.

Vaccinations are free and available to everyone age 12 and over, regardless of immigration status. Vaccines are widely available across LA County without an appointment. In-home vaccination is available to people who are homebound.

Visit the How To Get Vaccinated webpage to find a location near you,
or call the Public Health Vaccine Call Center 1-833-540-0473 open daily from 8am to 8:30pm.

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  • Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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