California Governor, Gavin Newsom, said on Tuesday that restaurants in six California counties are allowed to begin sit-down dining. Shopping malls across the state can offer curbside pickup as lockdown eases in the state.
In his daily press briefing, Newsom said that offices, too, can open with some restrictions. However, salons, tattoo parlors, and gyms do not receive any reopening orders from the governor.
Newsom, who has been hesitating to loosen restrictions imposed due to coronavirus spread, said, “it’s a mistake to over-promise what reopening means.”
The leading U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned Congress on Tuesday that untimely scrapping lockdowns could lead to another outbreak of the deadly COVID-19, which has taken over 80,000 lives in the United States and left the economy lurching.
In March, California has given a bit of relaxation in stay-at-home order because infections in the most-populous U.S. state seemed to be stabilizing. However, the state has asked local governments to keep imposing stricter guidelines, and health officials in densely populated areas like Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area have not shown support to lifting restrictions.
Counties that have limited cases or no signs of virus spread can apply to the state for permission to reopen more businesses, including restaurants offering sit-down meals, and allow customers inside shopping malls and retail stores. Schools, too, can open with some modifications.
Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, and Shasta are the six counties in California that received permission to reopen on Tuesday.
The reopening guidelines require the restaurants to reorganize their dining rooms to support social distancing, closing areas where customers gather or touch food, and stop setting tables with shared condiments. Table-side food preparation is not allowed anymore, and menus must be disposable.