L.A. County to Require Masks at Outdoor Concerts and Festivals

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a new order stating that attendees of any major outdoor event will be required to wear a mask due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The requirement stands regardless of vaccination status, and goes into effect as of 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19.

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This news comes after orders issued in July, which reinstated an indoor mask mandate for most public spaces, applying to both major events (defined as those with 5,000 or more attendees) as well as smaller spaces such as restaurants, movie theaters and gyms.

July’s mask mandate did not include outdoor mega events, which are defined as those with 10,000 or more attendees. Tuesday’s order now incorporates these events, and will affect concerts, festivals and sporting events. According to the county, the order is to be enforced by the operators of any such event, both verbally and with visible signage at all entry points.

Head in the Clouds Festival, which is set to take place at Brookside at the Rose Bowl Nov. 6-7, is one of the few major music festivals scheduled to take place in Los Angeles for the remainder of 2021. But the order will also affect larger venues including the Hollywood Bowl, SoFi Stadium and the Banc of California stadium, as well as sports venues.

The county’s order does clarify that while “actively eating or drinking,” masks may be removed, and that they must be immediately worn again afterward.

As Variety has reported, some Hollywood events such as special screenings and celebrity Q&As have been cancelled amid mask mandates and spikes in COVID-19 cases.

The public health department said that the Delta variant, which is twice as contagious as earlier variants of the virus, is now predominant in L.A. County. On Aug. 16, the L.A. County Public Health reported 2,426 new cases of COVID-19, 1,653 current hospitalizations and five new deaths.

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