Gov. Newsom Orders Indoor Restaurants, Wineries, Movie Theaters to Close in Most of CA

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

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Editor's note:  Irvine's Al Fresco campaign lists restaurant and retail centers in the city that offer outdoor dining.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the return of some stricter restrictions amid a concerning surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Effective immediately, California is instructing certain sectors to close indoor operations for all counties that have been on the state's watch list for three consecutive days. The affected sectors are: restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. Those businesses can still operate outdoors.

That applies to 19 counties which represent more than 70% of the state's population and include several counties in Southern California. Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura are all on the list of those impacted by the mandate.

These restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks, Newsom said.

California isn't requiring all beaches to close ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, the governor said, but it is taking measures to avoid the chance of overcrowding.

"The state of California is not mandating the closure of beaches this weekend, but we are modifying our parking facility operations and closing them to traffic throughout Southern California, as well as parts of Monterey County, Santa Cruz, through the Bay Area and up along the north coast to Sonoma County," Newsom said.

Several counties in Southern California have already ordered all beaches to close for the holiday weekend. Counties with mandatory closures should consider cancelling Fourth of July fireworks shows, the governor said, and Californians should not gather with people they do not live with.

An additional 6,367 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Hospitalizations rose by 6.3% and ICU hospitalizations went up by 4.3%.

"We bent the curve in the state of California once. We will bend the curve again," Newsom said. "We will crush this pandemic. We will annihilate it. We'll get past this, but we're going to have to be tougher."

Many local governments are already tightening restrictions. Los Angeles -- the nation's most populous county -- is closing beaches and banning fireworks this weekend. Newsom also ordered bars in the county to shut back down.

Public health officials consider bars to be the highest-risk businesses during the pandemic because drinking can reduce inhibition and impair judgement, potentially leading to people forgetting to wear face coverings and physical distance.

Following L.A. County's move, Ventura County plans to close its beaches to the public for the Fourth of July weekend, the county's health officer told Eyewitness News.

Newsom said Orange County, along with Solano, Merced, and Glenn counties, had been added to the state Department of Public Health's watch list due to increasing percentages of positive tests.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that Orange County and three other counties were being closely monitored for worsening COVID-19 trends as the state attempts to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Orange County heeded a recommendation from state officials and ordered the closure of all bars that don't offer dine-in services until further notice.

Imperial County unveiled a plan that includes closing businesses deemed non-essential and shuttering county parks.

Category: Irvine News, Community News, COVID-19, Business News, Economic News