Los Angeles County restaurants may soon be able to resume dine-in service, and hair salons and barbershops can start taking customers. With those reopenings, the region takes a significant step forward in the resumption of normal economic activity.
Much as retail outlets and shopping malls have been allowed to reopen with crowd size limitations and distancing requirements, restaurants that wish to offer dine-in service will be expected to comply with numerous new protocols. Spaces will require frequent deep cleanings, and restaurants will have to find ways to keep customers and workers physically distant from one another.
Businesses that are ready to comply with the new guidelines will be able to start operations almost immediately, but it’s not clear how many business owners are going to seize the opportunity right away.
“I don’t think we’re going to scramble to open,” Jon Yao, chef-owner of Kato, told the Los Angeles Times. “I think our timeline is going to be more in line with how we combat the disease instead of what the city says is OK.”
Permission to reopen the county’s dining rooms and some grooming services comes after supervisors requested a special variance from the state earlier this week. The variance had already been granted for 47 of California’s counties at that time.
“Regional data shows we have flattened the curve, indicating our readiness to move forward in phased recovery,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger wrote in a statement. “This will put Los Angeles County on a level playing field with surrounding counties, which have already been granted variances.”
Along with the county’s request, it was required to supply a pandemic mitigation plan. In that plan, public health officials acknowledge that they are pressing ahead with reopening even though they anticipate “additional waves of cases at varying levels of severity will occur over the next 18 to 24 months,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
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