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Laguna Beach City news City of Laguna Beach, California

TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2021

Businesses to Expand Capacity and Bars Can Reopen Outdoors Wednesday With Modifications!

Orange County Moves Into Less-Restrictive "Orange" Reopening Tier Effective Wednesday, March 31

Today, the California Department of Health announced that Orange County may move into Orange Tier of the State's new reopening guidelines on Wednesday, March 31 - meaning restaurantsgyms, churches, museums, and movie theatres may now increase indoor capacity.

Bars that do not serve meals may also reopen outdoors with modifications for the first time!

Indoor shopping malls and shopping centers may open at full capacity under Orange Tier, with indoor food courts operating at 50% capacity.

All other retailers may also increase to full capacity indoors!

What Changes on Wednesday?

  • Indoor dining: open at 50% capacity
  • Bars that do not serve food: open outdoors with modifications
  • Movie theaters: open at 50% capacity
  • Family entertainment centers:  activities like bowling alleys and escape rooms open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Museums: open indoors at 50% capacity
  • Gyms, yoga studios: open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Retail stores: indoor capacity increases to full capacity
  • Malls: indoor capacity increases to full capacity
Starting Thursday, April 1, counties in the Orange Tier are allowed limited fan attendance for outdoor sports and live performances at 33% capacity! Click HERE for details on the new guidance for outdoor seated live events and performances.

Orange Tier Reopening Guidelines for Indoor Dining at Restaurants

  • Indoor operations may reopen at 50% of the occupancy of the restaurant, or 200 persons, whichever is lower.
  • Physical distancing and hygiene measures are still applicable, so patrons must be seated far enough apart to maintain physical distancing; this may mean a business is not able to accommodate 50% occupancy indoors.
  • For indoor performances, performers must wear face coverings and observe modifications consistent with the indoor performance guidelines for restaurants in Orange Tier.
  • Bars that do not serve meals may reopen outdoors with modifications.
  • Breweries/ Wineries/Distilleries may open indoors with maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
The CDC says if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can gather indoors privately with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. In all public or common spaces, you should still wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoid crowds.

Bars that Do Not Serve Meals May Reopen Outdoors Wednesday With Modifications!

Beginning on Wednesday, March 31 bars that do not serve meals may reopen outdoors only with modifications.

Outdoor operations are permitted but must follow the modifications in this guidance. Indoor operations are not permitted.

Breweries, wineries and distilleries that provide meals should continue to follow the restaurant guidance.

It is important that businesses, restaurants and the public pay attention to occupancy limits within each sector and corresponding color Tier, found at the link below.

How to Reopen Your Business or Facility Safely

Guidance Assistance from Laguna Beach Police Captain Rachel Johnson

If your business is among those allowed to expand indoor operations under Orange Tier, first, follow the Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening to help plan and prepare for reopening your business.

All Laguna Beach businesses and facilities must follow the items listed here before reopening indoors:
  • Find the specific State guidance for your industry, business, event, or activity and review it completely.
  • Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a worksite-specific protection plan.
  • Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home.
  • Set up individual control measures and screenings.
  • Put disinfection protocols in place.
  • Establish physical distancing guidelines.
  • Establish universal face covering requirements (with allowed exceptions). See CDPH guidelines (PDF).
  • Post your completed checklist in your place of business so everyone can know the steps you’ve taken. Feel free to add more safety measures to the ones included in your industry’s guidance.
If you have a business and have questions about the reopening guidelines, please call Capt. Rachel Johnson at (949) 497-0345 or email her at rjohnson@lagunabeachcity.net
To date, there have been over 1.198 million COVID-19 vaccine shots distributed in Orange County, which means over 430,200 people have been fully inoculated. The County estimates that 90% of its seniors have been inoculated, according to County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau. Click HERE for more information on how, when and where you can get the COVID-19 vaccine!
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