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California's escape from lockdown! Alcatraz reopens for tours while LA gyms, theaters and restaurants start to welcome guests indoors - and Christopher Nolan takes in a movie

 Parts of California have finally reopened their doors after Covid-19 restrictions were eased on Monday with people flocking to its theaters, gyms, restaurants and tourist attractions.

Los Angeles County, which is home to more than 10million people, ended some measures of its harsh lockdown after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared the area sufficiently vaccinated.

Cooped-up residents made the most of their new freedoms Monday as they headed to food courts while still wearing masks and observing social distancing.

People enjoy lunch at Grand Central Market as indoor dining reopened in Los Angeles on Monday, bringing an end to harsh lockdown rules

People enjoy lunch at Grand Central Market as indoor dining reopened in Los Angeles on Monday, bringing an end to harsh lockdown rules

Cooped-up residents made the most of their new freedoms Monday as they headed to food courts while still wearing masks and observing social distancing

Cooped-up residents made the most of their new freedoms Monday as they headed to food courts while still wearing masks and observing social distancing

Among those venturing out were director Christopher Nolan who headed straight to a Burbank theater to watch a screening of Judas and the Black Messiah

Among those venturing out were director Christopher Nolan who headed straight to a Burbank theater to watch a screening of Judas and the Black Messiah

Max Barll, 86, headed straight to the gym for a workout with his personal trainer Jon Aranita on Monday as LA County started to reopen

Max Barll, 86, headed straight to the gym for a workout with his personal trainer Jon Aranita on Monday as LA County started to reopen

Alcatraz Island also opened up to visitors after being forced to shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Alcatraz Island also opened up to visitors after being forced to shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Among those venturing out were director Christopher Nolan who headed straight to a Burbank theater to watch a screening of Judas and the Black Messiah.


Alcatraz Island also opened up to visitors after being forced to shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Tourists were seen enjoying the grounds of the historic prison in San Francisco Bay as life slowly returns to normality thanks to the vaccination rollout.

Newsom said the state could reopen once California had administered 2million vaccine doses to residents in disadvantaged areas.  

He said at a press conference last Wednesday: 'L.A. will be a big beneficiary of this new metric. Moving through the weekend and into next week, you will see more activity, more loosening of the tiers.'

A Planet Fitness staff cleans gym equipment to prepare the reopening after being closed due to Covid-19 pandemic in Inglewood, California

A Planet Fitness staff cleans gym equipment to prepare the reopening after being closed due to Covid-19 pandemic in Inglewood, California

While outdoor dining was given the go-ahead several weeks ago in Los Angeles County, patrons are now able to eat indoors for the first time in eight months

While outdoor dining was given the go-ahead several weeks ago in Los Angeles County, patrons are now able to eat indoors for the first time in eight months

Phillip Guttman gets a gift of freshly baked cookies from third generation owner Jacqueline Canter as he eats breakfast inside Canter's Delicatessen in Fairfax Village

Phillip Guttman gets a gift of freshly baked cookies from third generation owner Jacqueline Canter as he eats breakfast inside Canter's Delicatessen in Fairfax Village

An AMC employee sanitizes the counter after each customer at the theater concession stand on reopening day in Burbank

An AMC employee sanitizes the counter after each customer at the theater concession stand on reopening day in Burbank

Viewers sit in a virtually empty AMC theatre while they wait for the first screening on reopening day as theaters opened with 25 per cent capacity

Viewers sit in a virtually empty AMC theatre while they wait for the first screening on reopening day as theaters opened with 25 per cent capacity

The historic island prison of Alcatraz was reopened to visitors Monday after being closed since December because of the coronavirus threat

The historic island prison of Alcatraz was reopened to visitors Monday after being closed since December because of the coronavirus threat

Passengers stand aboard the Alcatraz ferry before docking at the island after the tourist attraction was forced to shut down twice this past year

Passengers stand aboard the Alcatraz ferry before docking at the island after the tourist attraction was forced to shut down twice this past year

Lori Joaquin with her two-year-old son Zac Joaquin and sister Robyn Vasquez eat lunch indoors at Philippe The Original near downtown Los Angeles on Monday for the first time in a year

Lori Joaquin with her two-year-old son Zac Joaquin and sister Robyn Vasquez eat lunch indoors at Philippe The Original near downtown Los Angeles on Monday for the first time in a year

While outdoor dining was given the go-ahead several weeks ago in Los Angeles County, patrons are now able to eat indoors for the first time in eight months.

Capacity is capped at 25 percent, and tables must be spaced eight feet apart.

Meanwhile, movie theaters would also be able to reopen at 25 percent capacity, while museums, zoos and aquariums will also be able to welcome back the general public. 

Gyms, fitness centers and dance studios are also able to recommence indoor operations - but capacity will be capped at just 10 percent. 

Perhaps, most crucially, schools from grades 7-12 will also be able to open for in person instruction. 

A waiter serves patrons inside Blue Jam Cafe in Los Angeles as indoor dining returned with strict rules to ensure safety

A waiter serves patrons inside Blue Jam Cafe in Los Angeles as indoor dining returned with strict rules to ensure safety

Newsom said the state could reopen once California had administered 2million vaccine doses to residents in disadvantaged areas

Newsom said the state could reopen once California had administered 2million vaccine doses to residents in disadvantaged areas

Christopher Nolan bought popcorn and a drink as he sat in a face mask to watch a movie at the theater for the first time in months

Christopher Nolan bought popcorn and a drink as he sat in a face mask to watch a movie at the theater for the first time in months

Moviegoers wait in line to buy food and drinks at the AMC Theater on the first day of reopened theaters in Burbank

Moviegoers wait in line to buy food and drinks at the AMC Theater on the first day of reopened theaters in Burbank

Regular customers Kelly Cox, left, and Rick Ingold enjoy an indoor breakfast at Canter's Delicatessen in Fairfax Village on Monday morning

Regular customers Kelly Cox, left, and Rick Ingold enjoy an indoor breakfast at Canter's Delicatessen in Fairfax Village on Monday morning

Visitors listen to self-guided audio tours in the main cell house as Alcatraz Island and the famous former prison reopened

Visitors listen to self-guided audio tours in the main cell house as Alcatraz Island and the famous former prison reopened

Tourists are seen arriving on the first ferry of the day at 10am, becoming the first visitors back to Alcatraz since the forced closure

Tourists are seen arriving on the first ferry of the day at 10am, becoming the first visitors back to Alcatraz since the forced closure

Los Angeles County has had some of the strictest lockdown laws in the country. 

On July 1 last year, Gov Newsom closed indoor dining, cinemas, zoos and museums in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

But the closures did little to stop the spread of the virus, and the country was slammed by Covid over the course of the winter. 

An estimated one in every three residents has contracted the disease. 

In late December, L.A. hospitals reached capacity and, by early January, one resident was dying from the coronavirus every 6 minutes. 

On January 16, Los Angeles became the first county in the country to surpass one million Covid cases.   

The surge prompted even stricter stay-at-home orders, which have caused the number of infections to drop dramatically in recent weeks.  

L.A. County has clocked more than 1.2 million COVID cases. Across the country, 29.2 million people have contracted the disease.  

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