City, county and state officials made a flurry of announcements Monday about changes to health orders that had been in place for nearly two months after a steep rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Now that new cases and hospitalizations have leveled off and decreased slightly, this week’s changes will ease restrictions for many industries.
Long Beach, the county and state have said they will go back to previous health orders that were in place in November, which means personal care services like nail salons can operate indoors with limited capacity and museums and other attractions can operate outdoors with safety precautions.
The big difference between the previous order and the announcement this week has to with dining at restaurants. Long Beach and Los Angeles County banned all dine-in service on Nov. 25 (in early December, the state then mandated the same closure across the entire Southern California region).
Under new orders announced Monday, city and county officials will allow dining to resume outdoors, but there are some differences among the jurisdictions, including timing.
Long Beach announced that effective Tuesday, Jan. 26, restaurants would be allowed to host patrons in outdoor seating areas.
The city will be more strict than the county, however, in spacing requirements: In Long Beach, patrons must be situated at least 8 feet apart rather than 6 feet apart. Masks will be required at all times, except when eating or drinking, and people are strongly encouraged to only dine out with those in their own household.
The city followed the county in easing other restrictions. Effective today, the following will be allowed:
- Indoor personal care services including barber shops, hair salons, tanning salons, esthetician, skin care and cosmetology services; electrology; body art professionals, tattoo parlors, microblading and permanent make-up; piercing shops; and massage therapy, all with capacity limits based on the ability to maintain 6 feet of distance between customers.
- Hotels, motels, lodging, shared rental units and other similar facilities for all types of travel, including tourism and individual travel.
- Limited services as defined by the state, including pet grooming and dog walking.
- Outdoor operations of museums, zoos and aquariums
- Limited gatherings, per state guidance, of no more than three households, with gatherings allowed outdoors only.
Places of worship, gyms and fitness operations and recreational activities were already allowed to operate outdoors.
Los Angeles County
County officials announced Monday that effective Tuesday, personal care services would be allowed to open indoors; retail shopping will be allowed to continue indoors at limited capacity as well.
Family entertainment centers, museums, zoos, aquariums, cardrooms, and gyms and fitness centers will also be allowed to resume operations outdoors only.
Private gatherings are limited to three households, with a maximum total of 15 people, outdoors only.
The county won’t allow outdoor dine-in service until Friday, Jan. 29, when new health orders are issued. The county will require patrons sit at least 6 feet apart.
There are have been no official announcements, however it is unlikely the county will adopt or keep rules that are any stricter than what the state is now allowing. A detailed database of the state restrictions is available here.
Orange County CEO Frank Kim said Monday that “Generally, we follow the state and try not to be more restrictive.”
If Dr. Clayton Chau, the county’s chief health officer and director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, wanted to adopt more restrictive measures he would take it to the Board of Supervisors first, Kim said.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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