Los Angeles Is the Latest Destination to Ease Mask Mandates — Here's What's Changing

Businesses that require customers to be vaccinated will be lifting mask mandates on Friday.

Unmasked customers enjoy Sunday afternoon drinks and a meal at the indoor patio seating at Don Orange restaurant in Redlands, California
Photo: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles will drop its indoor mask mandate for people who are fully vaccinated, the county's health department announced on Wednesday.

The new policy, which aligns with the state, will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 25 and will allow businesses to implement mask-free policies if customers show proof they are vaccinated, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. People who are not fully vaccinated will have to show proof of a negative test to enter the business and continue wearing a mask indoors except when actively eating or drinking.

"While there are powerful tools that impede virus transmission, none are perfect which is why we often need to use a variety of safety measures to reduce transmission," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement. "As transmission drops and there is less virus circulating, some tools may afford significant protections against the very worst risks associated with COVID. Because vaccines are one of these tools, with lower rates of hospital admissions and COVID hospitalizations, it is appropriate in settings verifying vaccination or negative test status, that we transition to strongly recommending masking instead of requiring masking."

By mid-March, Los Angeles expects to "hit a Moderate Rate of Transmission" and plans to fully lift the indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people.

The decision to ease mask rules comes just over a week after California let its statewide mask mandate expire, paving the way for Disneyland to make masks optional for vaccinated guests.

Universal Studios Hollywood, which is located in Los Angeles, currently requires guests to wear masks indoors, according to the park, as well as requires guests to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the park, in line with the county's rules.

Similarly, Six Flags Magic Mountain, which is also located in Los Angeles, still requires face masks be worn in all indoor locations regardless of vaccination, a spokeswoman confirmed to Travel + Leisure on Thursday.

A representative for Universal Studios Hollywood did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the county's new policy.

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.

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