San Diego County Announces Closure Of Bars, Wineries & Breweries That Do Not Serve Food Due To Rising COVID-19 Numbers

June 29, 2020

With the 4th of July holiday weekend nearly upon us, San Diego County officials announced today the rolling back of some restrictions due to rising COVID-19 numbers, including the closing of all bars that do not serve food.

At a press conference this afternoon, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced that the county would be rolling back certain precautionary restrictions due to continually rising COVID-19 positives that are beginning to overwhelm area hospitals. These new directives go into effect tomorrow, June 30, starting at midnight. The County will also not consider further reopenings of any businesses or activities, including the bars, breweries and wineries, earlier than August 1 to further slow the spread of COVID-19.

"This year we simply cannot celebrate July 4th as we did in the past," explained San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox.

Starting on Wednesday, July 1, all bars, wineries and breweries will be forced to close if they do not have a license to serve food. Furthermore, beer, wine and alcohol can only be consumed at an establishment while eating a meal. There is also no standing to be allowed at bars and restaurants that serve food. In addition, the county believes there will be more announcements about dialing back openings later this week, including possibly re-closing beaches and boardwalks before the holiday weekend. The county will be reaching out to independent cities to assess preparedness before making a decision about beach closures.

"Over the weekend, the state of California took a similar action for a number of counties, including pretty much all of the neighboring counties to us, and the reason the state of California did this for a number of counties, but not San Diego County, is because bars are purely social settings," commented San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. "Simple reality is alcohol consumption impairs judgment and may lead to less compliance with physical distancing guidelines."

Yesterday, California, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered seven counties including Los Angeles to immediately close any bars and nightspots, citing the rapid pace of coronavirus spread in parts of the state. Eight other counties were asked to take action on their own to close those businesses. San Diego was not included but officials felt it necessary to get ahead of any potential problems.

Last week, San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency reported record-high numbers of new COVID-19 infections for multiple days in a row, including today. In addition to increasing case numbers, the County also met one of the 13 metrics officials are monitoring that could trigger new restrictions. The average number of hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections has also increased to the point of concern over capacity. San Diego County is reporting a record 498 new COVID-19 cases today, raising the county total to 13,832 cases. The number of deaths remains unchanged at 361.

This is a developing story: We will update this post as we learn more.