Los Angeles County Public Health released new guidelines that will allow restaurants to provide outdoor dining starting Friday.
L.A. County, along with other counties in Southern California, were not permitted to host any form of in-person dining for more than a month as California imposed a strict health order on the region.
One of the new protocols for restaurants, breweries and wineries, is the prohibition of television use.
“Televisions or other screens that broadcast programming must remain off until further notice,” the order reads.
Additional updates to restaurant regulations include tables being a minimum of 8-feet apart instead of six, as well as servers being asked to wear face shields on top of their face coverings.
A limit of six patrons per table from the same household will be enforced and restaurants are even being asked to both post signs and verbally inform customers about the “same household” regulation.
Restaurants in L.A. County that have provided outdoor dining in the past have used tent and canopy setups that now have health guidelines, as well.
If any such tents or canopies with walls are connected, they will be considered an indoor operation. The walls must be separated with at least 50% of the setup must be open air, which the order said, “allows for droplets/aerosols containing the COVID-19 virus to disperse rapidly.”
Aside from the outdoor dining components, restaurants will still be allowed to operate carryout, delivery and drive-thru when applicable. Past regulations for social-distancing, employee face coverings, “entry screenings” that evaluate employees for any possible COVID-19 symptoms and cleaning regulations remain.
The health officer order also noted that outdoor dining has the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission among the current forms of restaurant operations.
Along with outdoor dining, restriction on private outdoor gatherings were also lifted, so long as they are with three or fewer households.
Family entertainment centers, cardrooms miniature golf, go-karts and batting cages will all be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, while indoor malls and personal care services will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity. Religious services, fitness centers, museums and zoos may all operate outdoors, as well.