Los Angeles City Hall will reopen on May 4 after being closed to the public for nearly two years, city officials said Thursday.
Visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test within the previous 72 hours to enter the building, officials said. Masks will be also required.
The downtown building has been closed since March 2020, when many city employees began working remotely as the coronavirus spread through the region. City Council meetings have also been held remotely, with members of the public able to participate remotely as well.
Council President Nury Martinez said she looks forward to “seeing our council chambers full of Angelenos again.”
“As always with this pandemic, it remains a fluid process, but I’m hopeful that we will continue to stay safe in our 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 Act meetings managed 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 returned 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 angered some groups, including Housing Is A Human Right, the advocacy division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Separately, the Department of Water and Power’s utility disconnection moratorium recently expired, a spokeswoman confirmed this week. DWP spokeswoman Ellen Cheng said the utility will engage with customers who remain behind on their utility bills before any shutoffs occur.
Coronavirus cases have begun to rise in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco counties, likely a result of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2, decreased use of masks and waning immunity.
The increases are modest, and it’s unclear whether this is a brief hiccup, the beginning of a larger wave of cases or something in between.
L.A. County reported 806 cases a day over the past week, up 16% from the prior week. The county is recording 56 cases a week for every 100,000 residents, meaning the rate is once again substantial.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer described the increase as “a small uptick” and said that the best way to protect oneself is to get updated on vaccinations and booster shots and to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.