Politics

Restaurants in some California counties to reopen under restrictions

Key Points
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that restaurants in select counties can reopen on-site dining under specific restrictions. 
  • He said the state is now in its second stage of reopening, which means that counties can allow offices, pet grooming, car washes, malls and outdoor museums to operate under certain limitations. 
  • "Over 70% of our economy is open with modifications," Newsom said at a press briefing Tuesday.
An employee inside a restaurant waits for customers arriving for pickup in Alhambra, California on May 7, 2020.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that restaurants in select counties can reopen on-site dining under specific restrictions

He said the state is now in its second stage of reopening, which means that all counties can choose to allow offices, pet grooming, car washes, malls and outdoor museums to operate under certain limitations

"Over 70% of our economy is open with modifications," Newsom said at a press briefing Tuesday.

However, only Butte and El Dorado counties are approved to move deeper into the second reopening stage and allow restaurants to offer dining services under certain limitations.

The many requirements include providing face coverings to employees, suspending the use of shared food items like condiment bottles and salt shakers and pre-rolling utensils in napkins prior to them being used by customers. Workers should no longer pre-set dining tables and must remove dirty tablecloths after each use. Restaurants should also use disposable menus and offer them digitally. 

The guidelines also included social-distancing recommendations such as asking customers to wait in their cars while waiting to be seated and installing physical partitions to encourage distances of 6 feet apart between customers and workers. 

"Protect yourself and your family and your community and others when you starting going back in with these modifications into restaurants," Newsom said. 

However, certain areas in California have not followed Newsom's reopening plan. The Bay Area, including San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties as well as the City of Berkeley, are following regional health orders. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city's businesses will likely begin storefront pickup on May 18. Los Angeles County also remains under a stay-at-home order. 

"The statewide order affords the opportunity for local government to come into, conform with those guidelines, but one can choose — regions like the Bay Area, the six counties — one can choose to be a little more prescriptive and restrictive," Newsom said Tuesday. 

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California prepares to reopen