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This page is currently under revision.
For the latest guidance please see the Health Officer Order (9-23-22) "Responding Together at Work and in the Community and the LA County Mask Wearing Rules and Recommendations webpage.

Updates 5-13-22: Updated to align with revised Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Effective 5/6/22, Cal/OSHA requires employers to provide respirators upon request to any employee (regardless of vaccination status) who works indoors or in vehicles with more than one person


Los Angeles County is utilizing both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Levels and California SMARTER Plan to guide the realignment of our local public health response to focus on reducing medically significant illness and minimizing strain on the healthcare system. See Los Angeles County Post-Surge Dashboard. The core community prevention strategies are indoor masking, testing, vaccine verification, and ventilation. Below is a summary of requirements and best practices for businesses that serve food and beverages to enhance safety for their workers, customers, and communities.

Please be sure to read and follow the general guidance for businesses & employers.
The specific best practices below are intended to supplement the general guidance.

Adhere to the California Retail Food Code
Adhere to California Retail Food Code
Enhance safety through vaccination verification
Risk levels
  • Higher Risk Settings: Places that serve food and beverages to customers indoors are considered higher-risk settings because persons, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, are often indoors for an extended period without masks. Public Health makes the following recommendations to enhance safety and lower transmission risks at these venues.
Food and beverage
  • Nightclubs, lounges, breweries, wineries, and distilleries: To enhance safety and lower the risk of transmission in these settings, the Health Officer Order strongly recommends that these facilities continue to verify that patrons and employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. See the DPH Business Compliance Toolkit.
Dinner plate with fork and knife
  • Restaurants and other food facilities: To enhance safety and lower the risk of transmission in these settings, the Health Officer Order strongly recommends that these facilities verify that patrons and employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. See the DPH Business Compliance Toolkit
Encourage indoor masking for customers and employees
Wear a mask
  • Masks are strongly recommended indoors: Masks are strongly recommended, but no longer required, in most indoor public settings. The purpose of strongly recommending continued indoor masking is to prevent transmission of the virus, particularly to persons with prolonged, cumulative exposures (e.g., workers) and to persons with higher risk of illness. Businesses may choose to continue to require universal indoor masking. See general guidance for businesses & employers for details.
N95 respirator
  • Employees must be provided masks and respirators at no cost to the employee*:
    • In settings where masking is not required, employers must make available and offer well-fitting medical masks and respirators (e.g., N95, KN95, KF94) for voluntary use to employees who work indoors and have close contact with others or in vehicles with more than one person. 
    • If a business chooses to maintain an indoor masking requirement, employees must be provided with a well-fitting medical mask.
    • Upon request, employers are required to provide employees who work indoors or in vehicles with more than one person with the correctly sized N95 respirator for voluntary use along with basic instructions on how to use it.
    • Respirators must be replaced if they lose their tight fit or get damaged, deformed, dirty, wet, or difficult to breathe through. For more information about free and low-cost PPE for businesses and organizations see: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/docs/FreeAndLowCostPPE.pdf.

* Some independent contractors are considered as employees under the State Labor Code. For more details and clarification, check the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Independent contractor versus employee webpage.

Screen customers, vendors, and delivery people
  • Post signage to remind everyone who enters your establishment that they should NOT enter if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or if they have tested positive. 
Reduce crowding indoors
Social distancing
  • If possible, maintain or expand your outdoor dining capacity to enable more customers to eat outside where ventilation is better.
  • Indoors, limit your occupancy if it does not disrupt your operations by arranging tables to increase physical distance between tables.
  • HVAC Basics. Continue to maintain your building’s HVAC system in good, working order. Consult your HVAC professional.
    • Use MERV 13 filters in the HVAC system, if possible.
    • Set the HVAC system to use 100% outside air, if possible.
    • Determine the number of Air Changes per Hour (ACH) provided by the HVAC system in the space during the event. A range of 2-6 ACH is recommended, with the higher range needed if less outside fresh air is coming in.
  • Supplement air cleaning. Add portable high-efficiency air cleaners to smaller areas with lower levels of ventilation.
  • When weather and working conditions allow, and when safe to do so, increase fresh outdoor air by opening windows and doors. Consider using fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows - position window fans on one side of room and direct them to blow air outward, not inward.
  • Decrease indoor occupancy in areas where ventilation cannot be increased. Consider use of carbon dioxide monitors to monitor the effectiveness of your ventilation in more densely occupied indoor spaces.
  • Keep your background music volume low so that customers and employees do not have to talk loudly to be heard.
  • See State Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.
Support handwashing
Wash hands
  • Post signage so that customers who are entering your establishment are aware of your COVID-19 safety policies.
  • Use your online platforms to communicate your COVID-19 safety policies to the public.
  • Consider using a reservation system to keep the number of people in your establishment steady and/or using an online waiting list that enables customers who are waiting for a table to wait outside or in their cars instead of indoors.


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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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