Restaurants, hair salons and barbershops in Los Angeles County will be allowed to reopen “immediately” as long as they meet the protocols for COVID-19 epidemic prevention, county officials said Friday.
Los Angeles County, the most populous one in the United States with more than 10 million residents, was approved for a variance by California Governor Gavin Newsom, according to County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
“Hair salons and barbershops can reopen and in-person dining in restaurants can resume immediately with safeguards as Los Angeles County moves forward on the roadmap to recovery,” said county officials in a statement, adding that the county has demonstrated that it has controlled the spread of the virus, and is protecting residents and essential workers.
According to specific guidelines for the reopening of hair salons, barbershops and in-person restaurant dining, clients and staff will have to practice physical distancing and wear cloth face coverings.
For in-person dining in restaurants, outdoor seating and curbside pickup are prioritized and occupancy capacity will be limited to 60 percent for the next three weeks. Reservations will be encouraged and customers will be asked to wait for their tables in their cars or outside restaurants to prevent crowds from gathering. Diners must wear cloth face coverings when not eating.
Under Los Angeles County‘s Safer at Home order, restaurants are restricted to curbside pickup or delivery only.
For barbershops and hair salons, clients are encouraged to wear face coverings with earloops to ensure the face covering does not interfere with the hair service. Clients are also encouraged to use credit cards and contactless payment systems.
Nail salons, spa services, gyms, fitness centers, beach piers, indoor entertainment venues and indoor museums are still not allowed to reopen in the county.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we all should do our part to help them stay open safely,” County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “But we are absolutely not out of the woods yet, so we must continue to protect our health and those of everyone around us.”
“This further brings our communities together and resumes a sense of normalcy, representing monumental progress for Los Angeles County as we join the vast majority of other regions in California on the path toward reopening and recovery,” Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, tweeted.
County officials warned that this step forward doesn’t mean the threat of COVID-19 is gone.
“If at any time, the County’s rate of infection and other key metrics return to unsafe numbers, the Department of Public Health can limit or close reopened sectors,” the officials said in the statement.
Los Angeles County, home to around half of California’s COVID-19 cases and deaths, reported 1,824 new cases and 50 more virus-related deaths on Friday, raising the countywide total to 51,562 cases, with 2,290 deaths.