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Hollywood Sign
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Izayah Ramos

Here’s what’s open in Los Angeles right now

An up-to-date list of the latest business, venue, outdoorsy and restaurant reopenings in L.A.

By Michael Juliano
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The past year in Los Angeles has been filled with reopenings and rollbacks, and only a couple of months ago it seemed like we’d forever be stuck with the latter. Yet miraculously here we are in the yellow tier, the least-restrictive phase of the state’s reopening plans.

More openings means more rules to keep up with, though, so things may still seem pretty confusing. As part of California’s color-coded framework, understanding the overlap between state, county and city-level orders can still seem impenetrable, so we thought we’d cut right to it and let you know what’s open in Los Angeles right now.

One quick thing: Just because places can be open doesn’t mean they are or will be, so make sure to check with individual businesses or locations that you may be interested in visiting. And another important note: You’ll need to wear a face mask when at businesses or in crowds (except for some outdoor settings if you’re fully vaccinated) and you should be keeping at least six feet from others.

To help keep you informed, we’ll continue to update this list of what’s open in L.A. as more announcements are made.

What’s open in L.A. right now

empty grocery store
Photograph: Unsplash/Nathália Rosa

Essential businesses

Businesses are still limited to 75% capacity, and social distancing measures should remain in place.

Both the city and county have allowed essential businesses to stay open since last spring’s initial Safer at Home order—albeit with limited capacity—including supermarkets, government services, gas stations, repair shops, health care providers, hardware stores, banks, handymen, laundromats, the DMV and more.

Salazar Frogtown patio
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Restaurants

As of May 6, restaurants can increase their indoor capacity to 50%, and no longer with a hard cap on the number of people. Tables must be spaced at least six feet apart and are limited to six people from a single household, while outdoors allows for up to eight people from three different households; if everyone’s vaccinated, those household requirements are dropped. TVs are allowed to be turned on, but live entertainment must remain outdoors.

Long Beach and Pasadena operate their own health departments, but they both have very similar rules for restaurants.

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Apotheke
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Bars

For the first time in about a year, bars that don’t serve meals can reopen indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. You can’t sit or be served at the bar, though, so you’ll have to find a table instead. The rest of the restaurant rules above also apply to bars (and if a bar serves bona fide meals, it’s technically considered a restaurant).

Saddlerock Gardens
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Wineries, breweries and distilleries

As mentioned above, wineries and breweries that serve food are subject to the restaurant rules. For spots that don’t, they can open indoors at 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. Like bars, the rest of the restaurant rules apply. Thankfully, there’s no longer a service curfew in place now that we’re in the yellow tier.

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Skylight Books
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Retail businesses and shopping malls

All non-essential retail locations (including indoor malls) have been allowed to up their capacity to 75%. And for malls specifically: Food courts can now reopen, but they must follow all of the restaurant guidelines.

LACMA
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/aepg

Museums, galleries, zoos and aquariums

Museums, galleries, zoos and aquariums can operate indoors at 75% capacity—and those occupancy limits must observed per exhibition, too. Expect to see many museums require reservations and keep high-touch installations closed for now.

As more institutions start to reopen, we’ll keep track of our favorites on our best museums story.

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Nuart Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Movie theaters

Starting May 6, movie theater capacity remains at 50%, but the 200-person maximum cap is dropped—a major change for large movie palaces. Reserved batches of seats will need to stay six feet apart, but theaters can establish fully vaccinated sections where distancing isn’t required.

As more cinemas start to reopen, we’ll keep track of our favorites on our best movie theaters story.

wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Theme parks

Large theme parks like Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain (and, across the county line, Disneyland) can now all reopen with rides, but with some very specific restrictions.

Capacity is limited to 35%, reservations are strongly encouraged and visitors must be from California (or, per a recent amendment, fully vaccinated if from outside of the state) and can only arrive in small groups. All ride queues must be outside, and indoor rides must be limited to no more than 15 minutes—which means some blockbuster attractions may not return right away. Though non-theme park restaurants can be open at a much higher capacity, indoor dining in these parks is limited to 25% capacity.

You can keep up with the latest reopening info and reservation procedures for SoCal theme parks here.

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Dodger Stadium
Photograph: Michael Juliano

Sports stadiums/arenas and performance venues

Sports games, concerts, comedy shows, theater performances and all sorts of other live events can resume, but the rules vary depending on whether they’re indoors or outdoors. In both cases, attendance is limited to California residents or fully-vaccinated out-of-state visitors. In addition, the state will now allow for vaccinated-only sections of venues where distancing isn’t required.

For outdoor events, there’s a maximum capacity of 67%. Though you can sit next to members of your own household, you’ll be seated six feet away from other parties—except in areas set aside for fully vaccinated fans. Outdoor concessions are now allowed, but indoor concessions are restricted to designated areas.

As of May 6, indoor seated events can boost their capacity, too. Capacity is limited to 25% or 300 people (whichever is lower) for small venues, and 10% or 2,000 people for places that fit more than 1,500 people. But if all attendees are vaccinated or get tested, those capacities can increase to 50% for both.

wedding
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Alasdair Elmes

Private events

Like the performance rules above, receptions, meetings and conferences with tickets or a defined guest list can resume, too. Indoor events are only allowed if all guests are tested or vaccinated, and capacity is capped at 200 people. For outdoor events, you can have 200 people in attendance, but if all guests are tested or vaccinated then that bumps up to 400. Note that these are different from private, informal gatherings (which are limited to 100 people outdoors and 50 people indoors).

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Hair salon
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Allie

Hair salons, barbershops and nail salons

Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, piercing shops and tanning salons can all be open indoors at 75% capacity; both you and your stylist will need to wear a face covering.

yoga at gym
Photograph: Shutterstock

Gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios

Effective May 6, gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios can increase their capacity indoors to 50%. Masks must always be worn. Personal training can resume, and climbing walls, indoor pools, saunas and steam rooms can all be open, too. It’s worth noting that these same changes apply to hotel facilities, too.

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Highland Park Bowl
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Bowling alleys and escape rooms

So-called family entertainment centers can reopen indoors at 50% capacity. This includes naturally distanced activities like bowling alleys, escape rooms, batting cages, ice skating rinks, indoor playgrounds and paintball.

Hermosa Beach
Photograph: Courtesy Marion Michele

Beaches

After reopening in mid-May of 2020 for active recreation, beaches all over the county are now open for leisure activities, as well. That means you can surf, swim, bike, walk or run, as well as sit, sunbathe or picnic. The county’s rules allow gathering with other households, and the eased mask mandate means fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear face coverings in casual outdoor settings—but the City of Los Angeles still insists on mask wearing in its parks.

Bike paths (including the Strand), piers and boardwalks can open again. However, the Venice Pier remains closed, and the Boardwalk is techically open only for shopping and dining and its businesses as opposed to loitering.

Some sports facilities may still be closed, and parking lot capacity may be reduced to prevent overcrowding.

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Vista Hermosa Park
Photograph: Courtesy MRCA

Parks

Most local parks have remained open, but you may not be able to access some indoor facilities (i.e. Griffith Park may be open, but not the Observatory). Playgrounds can be open, too—but whether or not they do is ultimately up to each individual city or county parks department.

In May 2020, golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, equestrian centers, BMX bike areas, community gardens, model airplane areas and archery, trap, skeet and outdoor shooting ranges were allowed to open, as well.

Eaton Canyon Falls
Photograph: Victor Leung

Trails

Though they were briefly closed in the spring of 2020, L.A. County and the City of Los Angeles have kept trails open ever since. You must wear a mask in the trailhead parking lot, as well as on crowded stretches.

Do note that there are some restrictions (for example, Malibu Creek and Will Rogers have reduced parking); we suggest checking in with the county’s trail reopening alert for the latest news and exceptions (for example, Runyon Canyon was initially closed but later opened, and Eaton Canyon was temporarily closed and now requires reservations).

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Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplas/Dane Deaner

Farmers’ markets

These open-air markets temporarily had to shutter in late March 2020 but were quickly able to reopen if they provided plans for maintaining six feet of distance between shoppers. This only affected farmers’ markets within the City of Los Angeles; those in Pasadena, Santa Monica, Torrance and Culver City, for example, continued to operate. That said, you’re likely to see social-distancing–friendly changes in place at many markets.

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Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Drive-in movie theaters

Movie theaters may be open again, but drive-ins aren’t likely to go away quite yet. Back in the spring of 2020, the Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre in Montclair was the lone drive-in that was still open. Now, all drive-ins in L.A. and the surrounding counties have resumed screenings (and a bunch of pop-up drive-ins have arrived, too).

There are some important rules you need to know, though: In general, you may not park your vehicle within six feet of another vehicle, you must view the movie from within your vehicle and you must practice social distancing at all times.

West Hollywood Library
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/WeHoCity/Jonathan Moore

Libraries

Libraries can technically be open at 75% capacity, but not all of them are open quite yet. The city-run Los Angeles Public Library has reopened just over half of its locations, including the Central Library in DTLA, while the L.A. County Library will have the majority of its locations reopened by May 10.

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Andaz West Hollywood
Photograph: Courtesy Andaz West Hollywood

Hotels and short-term rentals

Hotels and vacation rentals are once again able to welcome leisure travelers. If you’re coming from outside of the region, there are some caveats and other specifics you should know about that we detail in a separate story on local travel

Hotels that reopen need to comply with some pretty strict guidelines that include symptom screenings, intense cleaning protocols and the removal of reusable items from rooms, like magazines and menus.

Camping New York
Photograph: Shutterstock

Day camps, campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation sites (including swimming pools)

A slew of outdoor activities are open, including camping. Each industry has its own set of modifications, but in general you’ll need to wear a face mask and bring your own supplies.

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The Bicycle Hotel and Casino
Photograph: Michael Juliano

Casinos and card rooms

Card rooms can operate indoors at 50% capacity. Tables must be spaced eight feet apart—and no food or drinks are allowed at the tables—and masks are required.

Metro
Photograph: Courtesy Steve Hymon/Metro

Public transportation

Public transit networks across the region have remained open, but many have modified their schedules. In addition, starting May 11 passengers are required to wear masks in order to board Metro buses and trains; DASH, Commuter Express and Cityride buses; and at LAX.

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Immanuel Presbyterian Church
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Houses of worship

Churches can operate indoors at their normal capacity, per a Supreme Court ruling. L.A. County still requires face coverings and encourages physical distancing between members of different households.

What’s on the horizon?

In mid-March, thanks to a vaccine sprint that administered two million shots to the state’s most vulnerable populations, L.A. finally moved into the red tier. Just under two months later, the county has now moved all the way into the least-restrictive yellow tier.

So where do we go from here? On June 15, California will drop its tier system and open up for business as usual. Some limited restrictions will remain in place: masks will still be required; all attendees at large-scale events will need to be tested or vaccinated in order for them to operate at a higher capacity; and conventions will be capped at 5,000 attendees until October 1.

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