Los Angeles and Ventura county dining rooms have been mandated to shut down again, just weeks after receiving approval from regulators to serve customers on location.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday imposed new restrictions for restaurants and other indoor entertainment businesses in 19 counties, including Los Angeles and Ventura counties, which have seen a surge of new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Regulators believe tightening business rules could help quell that surge.
Dining rooms were approved to reopen in L.A. County May 29 at 60 percent of their normal capacity. They were initially ordered to close March 15 to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Also required to close again are bars, wineries and tasting rooms, which L.A. County regulators gave permission to reopen June 19 with a few operational caveats, like physical distancing between groups of patrons.
The restrictions also apply to movie theaters, zoos, museums and other entertainment centers, none of which had yet received permission to reopen in hard-hit L.A. County.
Newsom’s order comes down ahead of July 4 weekend. Officials fear holiday festivities could cause a massive surge in COVID cases if residents don’t take adequate care to protect themselves and others.
Newsom took to social media to recommend the cancellation of fireworks shows in the 19 high-risk counties. He also encouraged those counties to close local beaches under their jurisdiction. State beaches and parking lots will be closed for the holiday weekend.