Governor Gavin Newsom has lifted the stay-at-home order he imposed on December 3, in response to the surging number of COVID-19 cases in attempt to prevent hospital ICUs from being overwhelmed. Among other things, the stay-at-home order had banned outdoor dining – a blow to restaurants already reeling from Newsom’s on-again/off-again shutdowns and continuously changing re-opening guidelines.
Lifting the order basically puts Orange County back in the Governor’s Tier 1 or “purple tier” (the most restrictive), along with the other counties grouped into the “Southern California Region” established by the Newsom Administration.
For businesses, it means:
- Restaurants can resume outdoor dining (but not indoor dining).
- Grocery stores and other retailers deemed essential can operate at 50 percent of indoor customer capacity.
- Retailers deemed by the state to be “non-essential” can only operate at 25% of indoor customer capacity.
- Hair and nail salons can re-open.
- Gyms and fitness centers can operate outside.
- Churches and other places of worship can only conduct outdoor services.
Hotels are now allowed to accept reservations from anyone. Previously, they were restricted to out-of-state visitors whose reservations were longer than the quarantine period; to California residents who were assisting with COVID-19, fires; and to the homeless. While this is of limited benefit until the Disneyland Resort is allowed to re-open, it is better than nothing.
Click here for more detailed information on what businesses the Newsom Administration allows and does not allow to be open under Tier 1.