San Diego Restaurants Among Many Area Businesses Forced To End Inside Operations This Week

July 6, 2020

It was announced today that many area businesses will have to end indoor operations this week, including all San Diego County restaurants, breweries and wineries starting on July 7. Bars must close all operations.

At his press briefing this afternoon, California Governor Gavin Newson announced that San Diego County is one of three new counties that have been added to his list of regions that must implement new precautionary measures on indoor business activities. Under the current restrictions, inside operations will be restricted on many businesses, including dine-in restaurants (outdoor, pick up or drive-through can occur), wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, card rooms, museums and zoos. Bars and breweries that do not serve food must close all operations, but that was already imposed countywide on June 29. San Diego restaurants that remain open must also close for dine-in at 10pm. Local health officials in each county must issue an order enacting the governor's measures, and San Diego County has stated that the measures will go into effect starting on July 7. This "dimmer switch" guidance will remain in place for at least three weeks and is based on rising COVID-19 cases and conditions in particular counties.

San Diego County went on the state's Monitoring List starting last Friday, July 3. At that time, officials warned possibly-effected businesses to prepare for new restrictions on additional indoor business activities that would likely be limited as of today. San Diego County health officials reported 1,030 positive COVID-19 cases over the weekend, bringing the region's total to 16,726. There were no deaths reported Saturday or Sunday and the region's total remains at 387, health officials said. Two new community outbreaks were reported Friday and one on Saturday. All three were restaurants.  San Diego County was the final county in Southern California to be placed on the state's monitoring list after it saw a steady rise in daily coronavirus cases. San Diego County reported 129.3 cases per 100,000 on Monday, well above the state's metric of 100 per 100,000. If the rate of infection for the region does not fall below 100, the period of restrictions could be extended unless the state issues new guidance.

San Diego County officials outlined its new compliance measures to the Governor's order at its daily media conference today at 2:30pm. They will take effect starting tonight at midnight. San Diego restaurants may only permit dine-in in outdoor settings. Take out and delivery can occur 24-hours a day. Breweries and brewpubs that do not serve food must close completely, although curbside pick up is still permitted. Wineries and distilleries may continue outdoor operations. Officials did not clarify why the distinction was made between the alcohol-producing businesses. Indoor movie theaters must close, as well as indoor family entertainment activities such as arcades, batting cages, and bowling alleys. Museums and zoos must also close indoor settings. On the topic of why gyms, salons and other indoor businesses can remain open, the county explained that most of the community related outbreaks have been linked to restaurants and bars.

"We must slow the spread of coronavirus now to allow our economy to open and thrive,"' said County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.  

Fletcher further explained that "modest adjustments" like the ones announced today could help prevent full-scale closures once again. It was also announced today that all starting Monday July 6, all Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk's offices will be closed to the public for all over-the-counter services. Offices will remain closed through the month of July and until further notice from the County Health Officer.  Online, mail, and phone services may be available.

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