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Morning Brief: Al Fresco Dining, Giving Blood, And LAX Travel Times

A male employee wearing a face mask, face shield and gloves wipes down an outdoor bar table under heat lamps and umbrellas at The Abbey in West Hollywood.
An employee sanitizes the tables of The Abbey Food & Bar outdoor seating area on January 29, 2021 in West Hollywood.
AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s July 1.

If you’ve been enjoying al fresco dining over the past year, I have good news: the city of L.A. voted to extend the program that made it possible by another year.

My colleague Elina Shatkin reports that L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an emergency ordinance earlier this week that will allow restaurants to maintain their dining setups on streets, parking lots and sidewalks.

Long Beach was among the first cities in L.A. County to allow al fresco dining last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic-related closures of bars and restaurants, and L.A. soon followed suit. More than 1,500 restaurants participated in L.A. Al Fresco at its outset, and the program was quickly extended until the end of 2020. (Bars didn’t become eligible for the program until April of this year.)

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The effort to make al fresco dining permanent in L.A. launched in August of last year with a motion introduced by city councilman David Ryu. His colleagues voted to move forward with it in May of this year. At the time, Garcetti saw it as a win-win.

"In a city whose unofficial motto is 72 and sunny, let's make al fresco dining permanent,” Garcetti said during his State of the City address.

City council will have the option to keep the al fresco extension going for another two years after the current extension ends.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... LAX Wait Times Are Up

LAX is hardly lax. (Photo by Matthew Dillon via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Nothing says summertime like a family vacation. As society continues to increasingly open up, many are eagerly taking advantage of the warm-weather holidays to hop on a plane.

Last weekend, LAX saw 87,000 people pass through TSA on Sunday alone, a number not seen since March of 2020. Officials are recommending that travelers arrive 2.5 hours early for a domestic flight and 3.5 hours early for international.

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