Long Beach bars, breweries and nail salons allowed to reopen under new health protocols

Bars, breweries and wineries, which have remained closed for several months, will be allowed to reopen with outdoor seating under new health provisions beginning Monday, Long Beach officials said.

Nail salons and outdoor playgrounds, which have been off limits during the coronavirus pandemic, can also reopen as Long Beach moves into a new phase of health orders.

Long Beach has so far avoided a feared surge in infections after Labor Day. The city on Thursday reported 53 new cases for a total of 12,003 positive cases, and a seven-day positivity rate of 3.7%, which has been one of the lowest rates since the pandemic’s start this year.

The city reported three more deaths on Thursday for a total 249, of which 153 are connected to long-term care facilities.

“Long Beach continues to make significant progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and, like the rest of L.A. County, we are able to make additional adjustments to our health orders,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “But we need to remain cautious, careful, and safe.”

The city is expected to issue more details on the requirements, but under the basic protocols, nail salons can open at a maximum 25% capacity if they adhere to safety guidelines, including operating outdoors to the extent feasible and taking physical distancing measures.

Other personal grooming businesses, including massage, facials and waxing, are still prohibited.

Playgrounds and city-owned outdoor fitness equipment can open with safety protocols including washing or sanitizing hands before and after using the equipment and maintaining physical distancing. Adult supervision will be required at playgrounds to ensure safety protocols are followed.

Breweries, bars, distilleries and wineries that do not hold a city restaurant permit will be allowed to reopen, but they face strict protocols including requiring customers to sit outdoors and being required to serve food. Indoor operations must remain closed to the public.

Long Beach will also begin accepting waivers from public and private schools for in-person instruction for K through 2nd grades, consistent with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  However, the Long Beach Unified School District has said it is not applying for waivers at this time.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].