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Long Beach To Lift Indoor Mask Requirement Saturday

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – After Los Angeles County announced Wednesday that it would lift its indoor mask mandate, the city of Long Beach immediately followed suit.

The Long Beach Health Department reported that, beginning Saturday, vaccinated people will be allowed to go maskless in most indoor public settings, such as restaurants and retailers.

L.A. County will be lifting its indoor mask mandate one day earlier, at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Despite being in L.A. County, the city of Long Beach operates its own independent public health department.

Under the new order, L.A. County businesses will have to verify the vaccination status of their customers and workers before they can remove their masks. Unvaccinated customers will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter a business, and will have to keep their masks on.

Long Beach's order will not be as strict as L.A. County's in that it will give businesses the option of allowing patrons to simply self-attest to being vaccinated instead of showing proof. This is in line with the state's guidance.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health's decision to finally lift the mask mandate came after tensions boiled over last week when the L.A. County Board of Supervisors slammed DPH for not aligning with the state of California's move to end the statewide indoor mask mandate on Feb. 16.

Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn heavily criticized the county health department's decision not to align with the state, saying that created confusion among the public and eroded trust in DPH. Hahn noted the thousands of fans who went unmasked at the Super Bowl.

Statewide, masks are still required in schools, healthcare settings, on public transportation, in airports and in nursing homes. L.A. County lifted its the outdoor mask mandate for schools and mega-events last week.

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