The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday resumed in-person meetings for the first time since March 2020, but members of the public are still only able to participate virtually.

Council members are being allowed inside chambers with one staff member, and all attendees are required to be vaccinated, according to Council President Nury Martinez’s office.

“It’s so great to have you all back in council chambers after 14 very long and difficult months,” Martinez said as the meeting began Tuesday morning. “In a little over a year, we’ve already lost 24,000 Angelenos to COVID-19. Some of these are our neighbors, our friends and family members, so it goes without saying that this year has been extremely, extremely difficult.”

Martinez thanked council members’ staff for working throughout the pandemic.

“… Whether you were passing out food, or helping small businesses, or distributing essential supplies in your district, you showed up every single day,” she said.

On the agenda for the first in-person meeting were motions related to clean energy efficiency goals, including a request that the Department of Sanitation and Environment develop a healthy soil strategy to support urban agriculture, address carbon sequestration and increase water capture.

Council members held meetings via teleconference in conformity with the governor’s COVID-19 executive order of March 17, 2020, and the return to City Hall was set for the same day that California officials scrapped the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, lifting most of its restrictions and eliminating the tier system.

While the vast majority of COVID-19 restrictions were lifted Tuesday, mask-wearing will continue to be a reality for non-vaccinated residents, at businesses that require them or for people who simply feel safer wearing them.

During the pandemic, the City Council temporarily suspended Friday meetings and only met on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But Friday meetings will resume beginning this week, Martinez’s office said.

A date for City Hall to reopen to the public has not been set.

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