After a year of business closures and travel restrictions that have devastated the tourist economy, merchants and visitors say activity is starting to pick up.
“I do feel like the pandemic is over,” said Kemuel Kendrick, 19, who was shopping at the Santa Monica Promenade with three friends from Charleston, S.C. “Obviously, we all have masks on, but otherwise, I don’t really have that fear anymore.”
Public officials, however, say the pandemic is not over and are sounding the alarm that the next week or so — spring break combined with Passover and Easter Sunday — could unwind California’s hard-won gains against the coronavirus. The confluence of events could spark increased travel, social gatherings and celebrations — all of which could, without precautions, heighten the risk of coronavirus transmission.
L.A. Times photographers visited some popular local destinations and found locals as well as out-of-state visitors congregating — a number of them without masks and social distancing often nonexistent — to enjoy the warm weather.
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