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Gov. Newsom Releases Guidelines to Reopen Dine-In Restaurants, Malls, Offices And More In California

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Main News Photo

(ABC News)

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced modifications to the statewide stay-at-home order to allow more businesses in California to reopen, including dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, and offices.

In order to open for sit-down or dine-in service, restaurants must:

  • Have disposable menus or post menus online so diners can view them on their own devices
  • Cutlery, napkins, and cups should not be "pre-set" on the table before diners sit down
  • Avoid use of shared condiments (salt shakers, ketchup, etc.)
  • Pre-roll utensils in napkins before giving them to customers
  • Takeout containers for leftovers must be filled by customers (not kitchen or wait staff)
  • Thoroughly clean tables, chairs, etc. after each group's use
  • No table-side food preparation (such as for guacamole)
  • Bar areas inside restaurants should stay closed

Diners should also wear masks inside restaurants when they aren't eating.

Another bit of good news: The loosened restrictions on takeout alcohol continue.

"Licensed restaurants may sell "to-go" alcoholic beverages, prepared drinks, and pre-mixed cocktails provided they are sold and delivered to customers in conjunction with the sale and delivery of a meal/meals," read the new state guidelines.

See the full guidelines for restaurants here.

Newsom said the state has also developed guidelines for office buildings to reopen if workers are not able to work remotely. In order to open, companies must follow these new rules:

  • Train employees on safety and self-screening
  • Do temperature and/or symptom screenings daily for employees
  • Redesign office spaces to allow for 6 feet of spacing between workers
  • Close or restrict common areas
  • Do extra cleaning on high-traffic areas like break rooms, elevators, etc.
  • Require employees to disinfect personal work areas
  • Require employees to avoid handshakes
  • Adjust or modify hours to allow people to better space out
  • Consider installing systems to bring more outside air in

See the full guidelines for offices here.

Other businesses that may now start reopening include shopping malls (for pickup only), outdoor museums, botanical gardens, car washes, pet grooming service, and dog walking services.

For malls, including outdoor shopping centers and strip malls, to reopen for pickup, they must:

  • Follow similar employee training and cleaning procedures as other retail businesses
  • Frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces (like ATMs and benches)
  • Turn off public drinking fountains
  • Encourage the use of credit cards and install hands-free payment systems where possible

See the full guidelines for shopping malls here.

Outdoor museums are being asked to keep maximum capacity low, create different entry and exit points so people don't have to pass each other in close proximity, discontinue group tours, close interactive exhibits and more. See full guidelines here.

In order to open dine-in restaurants, offices, malls and other businesses in California's Phase 2 of reopening, counties must first prove to the state they meet the following criteria:

  • No more than one new COVID-19 case per 10,000 residents in the past 14 days
  • No COVID-19 deaths in the past 14 days
  • Essential workers must have access to PPE
  • A minimum of 1.5 tests per 100,000 residents being conducted daily
  • At least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents
  • Ability to temporarily house 15% of the county's homeless population
  • Hospitals are equipped to handle a 35% surge at minimum
  • Nursing facilities have a two-week supply of PPE
  • Continue to monitor metrics to potentially re-enact restrictions.

So far only Butte and El Dorado counties have been given the green light to move forward with further reopening.

Category: Economic News, Business News, COVID-19, Employment News

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