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As LA Reopens On June 15, Shedding Most COVID-19 Safety Protocols, Unanswered Questions Remain

TOLUCA LAKE (CBSLA) - With only four days until Los Angeles County sheds most of its COVID-19 safety protocols, public health officials held a town hall meeting Thursday evening and attempted to answer the many questions residents, employees and businesses in the southland have about reopening guidelines.

"You can walk in with the mask on, but then when you sit down, you can take it off," Phyllis Botti, a customer at Bodega Malbec, a Toluca Lake Argentinian grill, said. "None of it makes any sense."

Inside Bodega Malbec, restaurant owner Javier Pardini said they're ready to start seating people at empty tables.

"As far as I know, we are going to be open 100%," Pardini said, adding that the restaurant is waiting for something in writing from LA County to see what's going to be required for both employees, employers and their patrons.

While businesses like Pardini's are allowed to fully open as of Tuesday, it's not necessarily a requirement.

"Businesses may choose to limit the number of people on their premises and are able to do that if they want to," Dr. Muntu Davis of the LA Public Health Department said during the Thursday town hall.

Businesses can also allow customers to go without face-coverings or require that they keep their masks on. Finally, they are allowed to ask customers to provide their county vaccination cards, though that is unlikely to sit well with some patrons.

"When someone asks me if I got my COVID test, I wanna say, 'Did you take your birth control pill today?' because it's none of my business and none of their business if I got my vaccine or not," Botti said.

Across the southland, some people mask-up when they're outside, while others choose not to, but for employees in the workplace, the current CAL-OSHA guidelines require they keep face-coverings on unless everyone in the workplace is vaccinated. However, another meeting is scheduled for next week, which may change the guidelines yet again.

"It is hard, but we're going to be learning as we go and I'm okay. I'm just happy that we can reopen," Pardini told CBSLA's Joy Benedict.

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