Los Angeles City Hall will reopen on May 4 after being closed to the public for nearly two years, city officials announced Thursday.
Visitors will need to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test within the previous 72 hours to enter the building, officials said. Masks will also be required.
The downtown building has been closed since March 2020, when many city employees began working remotely as the coronavirus spread through the area. City Council meetings have also been held remotely, with members of the public also able to participate remotely.
Council President Nury Martinez said she looked forward to “seeing our council chambers full of Angelenos again”.
“As always with this pandemic, it remains a smooth process, but I hope we continue to stay safe as we return to normal,” Martinez said in a statement.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city “will continue to make decisions that put the health and safety of our city employees and all Angelenos first.”
While city council members will resume in-person meetings, council committee meetings, commission meetings and other brown law meetings run by city departments will remain virtual, officials said. City Hall will also remain closed to special events and group tours.
The City Council resumed in-person meetings in June 2021, but then reverted to virtual meetings in January 2022 as the Omicron variant spread throughout Los Angeles County.
The decision to keep City Hall closed even as the health risk appeared to diminish last fall has angered some groups, including Housing Is A Human Right, the advocacy arm of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Separately, the moratorium on disconnecting utilities from the Ministry of Water and Energy recently expired, a spokeswoman confirmed this week. DWP spokeswoman Ellen Cheng said the utility would engage with customers who remain behind on their utility bills before any cuts.
Coronavirus cases have started to increase in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco counties, likely due to the highly contagious Omicron BA.2 subvariant, a decrease in the use of masks and waning immunity.
The increases are modest, and it’s unclear whether this is a brief setback, the start of a larger surge of cases, or something in between.
LA County has reported 806 cases per day over the past week, up 16% from the previous week. The county is seeing 56 cases per week per 100,000 people, meaning the rate is again substantial.
LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer described the increase as “a small uptick” and said the best way to protect yourself is to stay aware of vaccinations and boosters and wear protective gear. masks in indoor public spaces.
Times writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.