California Reopening Guidelines

Updated June 15, 2021

As of June 15th, the State of California is set to fully reopen following over a year of difficult COVID-19 regulations. IHC members are well aware of the struggles that these regulations placed on independent restaurants and the IHC is happy that COVID-19 is more manageable, allowing for the lifting of the regulations.


Los Angeles County is following the reopening recommendations by the State of California and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA).


Here’s what we know about reopening as it pertains to restaurants:

  • Masks
    • You are not required to wear a mask in an indoor public settings or businesses unless you are unvaccinated. Anyone who is not vaccinated is required to continue wearing masks in indoor settings (i.e. restaurants).
  • Vaccine Verification or Negative COVID Testing
    • Restaurants will not need to do this kind of verification (unless you are hosting an indoor mega event of 5,000 people or outdoor mega event of 10,000 people).
    • People dining at your restaurants will be following the honor system.
  • Capacity Limitations: No restrictions.
  • Physical Distancing: No restrictions.


Cal/OSHA, which protects CA workers’ health and safety, has recently updated their COVID-19 guidance, to follow the June 15th State reopening. Their Board will be voting to ratify these new regulations on June 17th however, by all indications the following recommendations will be as follows:

  • Employers shall establish a written COVID-19 Prevention Program.
  • Face coverings shall be worn by all employees who are not fully vaccinated.
    • Any employee not wearing a face covering, because of an exception (i.e. health issue) and is unvaccinated must adhere to 6ft social distancing rules.
    • Employers cannot prevent an employee from wearing a face mask unless it would create a safety hazard.
  • Employers shall report information about COVID-19 cases and outbreaks at the workplace to the local health department.
  • Employees who were positive with COVID-19 and have symptoms can return to work:
    • At least 24 hours have passed since a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications; and
    • When COVID-19 symptoms have improved; and
    • At least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.
    • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 but never had symptoms will have to wait 10 days after the positive test to return back to work. The same rule applies to people within close contact of another employee who was positive of COVID-19.


Los Angeles County has not yet provided any regulations that are more restrictive than the above State and Cal/OSHA recommendations. The IHC will continue to monitor any changes in regulations and will provide them to our members.


The IHC can’t wait for our restaurants to function in their normal capacity again! We will continue to fight for legislation that will benefit all independent restaurants like permanent Al Fresco dining, easing parking requirements and allowing to-go alcoholic beverages.


For more information on COVID-19 updates, please visit the following sites: