LA County lifts restrictions on operating hours for bars

L.A. County again eased its COVID-19 health restrictions, lifting restrictions on operating hours for bars, breweries and wineries, while allowing indoor playgrounds and arcades to reopen at limited capacity.

Video Transcript

- LA nightlife making a comeback after more than a year of covid-19 restrictions. The county has just lifted the 10:00 PM curfew for bars breweries and wineries. Eyewitness News reporter Jory Rand live in the arts district with a look at the scene tonight, Jory.

JORY RAND: Mark, we're at the Arts district Brewing Company. They're open till midnight tonight. Last call is a 20 minutes but so desperate are people to get out, drink, eat, socialize. Look at the line. It goes down the block here on Third Street. Nightlife is finally returning to Los Angeles.

Tonight across LA County bars are staying open late into the night for the first time in over a year. The county removing restrictions on hours of operation for bars, breweries, and wineries.

MORGAN: That has just changed our evening.

JORY RAND: And tonight, Third Street in the Arts District was packed.

MORGAN: We're very happy to be back out in like the world and things are good. Yeah.

SADULAH KARIMI: We're doing it right, you know. And yeah. We feel like-- it feels good to be-- to have a sense of normalcy.

JORY RAND: Also today, Disneyland reopening its doors to guests. And for many, it was an emotional return to the happiest place on Earth.

CARA BEIGEL: And I walked in and it's just at home.

- Yeah. The world is all better when you're in Disneyland.

CARA BEIGEL: It's just so good to be back.

JORY RAND: We're seeing progress because COVID numbers continue to decline and people continue to get vaccinated. Today, the US topping 100 million fully vaccinated Americans. That's nearly a third of the entire country. So many people have already gotten their shots around Los Angeles. That the Dodger Stadium vaccination site will soon be closing its doors. Here's LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on Eyewitness News makers.

ERIC GARCETTI: Dodger Stadium which was the biggest site in the world when it was up and running at its peak. Now, there's a place that we simply don't need.

JORY RAND: And it appears the eligibility pool will soon be growing. Emergency use authorization is expected to come soon for 12 to 15-year-olds for Pfizer's vaccine. That's important because President Biden today saying he expects all US students to be back in the classroom by the fall. And even as places like India explode with new cases and deaths, hotspots around the US have quickly calmed down and the outlook for the summer is good.

ASHISH JHA: I think we can confidently say the worst is behind us barring, some crazy unforeseen variant that none of us are expecting to happen. We will not see the kinds of sufferings and death that we have seen over the holidays.

JORY RAND: So that is definitely good news. There's always been a difference in the restrictions between establishments that serve food and those that do not. They serve food here so you can have indoor dining. You can stay open a little later. They just ease the restrictions on breweries and bars that don't serve food.

And to give you a little background about what's happened here. Trying to find a bar around Los Angeles, to do this story that just serves alcohol is hard to. Find so many of them went out of business. Others just aren't feasibly able to open yet because there's not enough demand as of the moment. But with restrictions being lifted, that hopefully is quickly going to change around town. Were live here tonight in the Arts District, Jory Rand, ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

- Yeah, Jory. And a lot of these places too-- a lot of their waitstaff have found other jobs, right? Isn't that part of it? It's a labor issue as well?

JORY RAND: Yeah. It's tough to get people back. We've heard as people get unemployment checks, they're less likely or less inclined to have to be forced to go back to work because they have some money coming in. But there are a lot of people out here looking to drink, which means there is money to be made at bars, breweries, and wineries will see moving forward of the unemployment status changes around.