COVID-19: The Bars Are Back, But Meeting Strangers There Won’t Be Easy

(Image: MSN)

Beginning tomorrow, bars, wineries, tattoo parlors, nail salons, and businesses offering skin care and cosmetology services and skin piercing and tattoos will be allowed to re-open in Los Angeles County if they implement required measures to reduce the likelihood that customers and employees will transmit the COVID-19 virus. Nightclubs and dance venues must remain closed.

The measures will mean a major change to bar life, with customers not allowed to stand while consuming a drink. Those sitting at the bar must be six feet away from one another and the bartender.  Those at tables with friends can. be closer together, but the tables must be six feet apart.

The announcement of those re-openings comes as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirms 1,051 new infections and 36 new COVID-19-related deaths in Los Angeles County. That means the total of those confirmed to have been infected is 78,227 and 3,027 have died. 

No new confirmed COVID-19 infections among West Hollywood residents have been reported today, with the number remaining at 210. The number of West Hollywood residents who have been tested as of today is 4,661 an increase of 79 from yesterday’s count of 4,582. The  number of West Hollywood residents who have died from COVID-19-related illnesses remains at four.

Beverly Hills as of today has 190 infections, an increase of two from Wednesday’s count. The number of confirmed infections in Culver City has increased by three to 179. The Hollywood neighborhood now has 365 confirmed infections, an increase of three from yesterday’s count. The Melrose neighborhood’s infections have increased by three to 716.

The Health Department’s order says that the number of people allowed in a bar can’t exceed 50% of the maximum capacity stated in its license.  That capacity limit doesn’t apply to outside drinking areas.  Among the rules bar owners must follow are the following:

  • Those who order drinks must consume them while sitting at a bar or at a table.  However, those sitting at the bar must remain six feet apart from others sitting at the bar and from the bartender.
  • Groups of up to six customers may sit together at tables, however no one will be allowed to take a seat at the table until all of those planning to join them have arrived.
  • Those sitting at tables will be close to one another, but their tables should be six feet apart or separated by physical barriers from other tables.
  • Each group of customers drinking at a table on a bar’s outside patio also must be six feet apart from other groups.
  • A customer cannot order and pick up a drink at the bar and then take it to a table. The drink must be ordered from a bartender or server while the customer is sitting at the table or at the bar.
  • Performances such as karaoke, go go dancing, etc., are prohibited.
  • Customers cannot engage in drinking games or consume “drop shots”
  • Customers who get up from their tables to visit the restroom or leave the bar must wear face coverings.
  • The bar must keep the music volume low enough so that the server doesn’t have to lean into the customer to hear his or her order.
  • The bar must install physical barriers such as partitions or plexiglass at host stands and cashiers if it isn’t easy to maintain a six-foot distance.
  • Bartenders and servers must wear face shields in addition to cloth face coverings when dealing with a customer who isn’t wearing a face covering while eating or drinking. 
  • Employees must be checked for symptoms of infection such as coughs, shortness of breath, or fever before entering the bar.

The Health Department recommends that bar owners implement a system where customers call in advance to reserve a table or seat at the bar.

(Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

Makeup parlors, skincare establishments, electrologists, nail salons, and tattoo and piercing parlors must adhere to the following rules:

  • All magazines, books, coffee, water bottles or other items must be removed from the reception areas.
  • Workers must wear face covering at all times and must also wear a face shield when applying makeup or doing another service that requires the client to remove his or her face covering.  Workers also must wear rubber gloves while doing the work.
  • Workers must be provided with disposable or washable smocks, which they replace after serving each individual customer.
  • Tweezer and scissors must be cleaned with hot and soapy water and then immersed in a disinfectant, rinsed and dried with a clean paper towel.
  • Piercing and tattoos in and around the mouth and nose are not permitted.

The Health Department suggests that there be a plastic partition between a manicurist or pedicurist and the client.

The Health Department continues to urge people who have symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested.

“COVID-19 testing continues to be prioritized for hospitalized patients, healthcare workers, and first responders with symptoms, as well as residents and employees, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings where there are outbreaks.”

It said that it recommends testing for anyone who is older or has underlying health conditions with symptoms, as well as people who have been close contacts of people who are positive for COVID-19.

“Anyone that has symptoms should also consider testing. It is important to note testing negative for COVID-19 right after being exposed does not mean you can’t become infected later during the incubation period. Individuals who are tested too soon after being exposed, are less likely to test positive because the viral load may be undetectable to the test. If anyone was possibly exposed to someone with COVID-19, and the test result is negative, they should remain at home for the full 14 days, to prevent spreading illness to others. For more information on how to get tested, visit

Residents with questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and who are looking for resources to deal with it can find answers on the City of West Hollywood’s website. Here is a list of links to sections about particular subjects and issues:

Residents with questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and who are looking for resources to deal with it can find answers on the City of West Hollywood’s website. Here is a list of links to sections about particular subjects and issues:

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3 years ago

Predictably stranger than strange.

3 years ago

Geez I could have a better time staying at home!!

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
3 years ago

Who wants to meet a stranger?

Vienna in WeHo
Vienna in WeHo
3 years ago

We’ve created a world of the never ending Masked Ball. I suggest whoever you take home, you leave the masks on so you’re not disappointed.

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
3 years ago

West Hollywood’s new bar theme song with good and bad surpises:
Strangers in the masks
Two lonely people
What were the chances
We’d be sharing love
Before the WEHO night was through
OMG, we now knew true romance
Was just moments away
Sealed by an intimate embrace
Warmed by the magic in the air
Until we pulled the f–king masks away!

Last edited 3 years ago by Michael Grace
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