Customers At San Diego Restaurants & Other Businesses Must Provide Contact Information | Diners Must Also Increase Mask Usage While Dining Indoors

September 1, 2020

San Diego restaurants and many other local businesses must now require customers to provide contact information when using indoor services, and patrons dining indoors are also mandated to wear facial coverings anytime they are not consuming food or drink.

"We will in the public health order be requiring businesses that are part of the new guidance, these are businesses that had their indoor operations closed and are now having their indoor operations reopened in some capacity," explained San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher at the county press conference on August 31. "For those entities, they are going to need to ensure a guest sign-in with a name and phone number of the guests who come in - so whether that's a salon, or a restaurant, or a massage or tattoo parlor - you're going to need to keep a log or registry of your guests."

Section 11 of the San Diego County Order of the Health Officer and Emergency Regulations, entitled "Reopened Businesses", has been updated to reflect the new requirements imposed by county officials yesterday. That section states that all businesses recently allowed to reopen indoor operations must require all customers who receive services indoors or use indoor facilities to sign in with their name and telephone number. These businesses include hair salons & barber shops, personal care services, gyms & fitness centers, restaurants, wineries, bars, breweries and distilleries (where a meal is provided along with a alcoholic beverage). Businesses must maintain these records for at least three weeks from the time of patronage. Restaurants must obtain all diners names and telephone numbers. The county believes the sign in list will assist in tracking and notifying people who were potentially exposed to COVID-19 outbreaks.

"Under the latest health order, businesses will be required to implement a sign-in procedure, collecting contact information for patrons served indoors," said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. "This process will assist disease investigators in case an outbreak is traced to a particular business."

Section 11(g) of the public health order has also been updated to mandate that all restaurants, bars, wineries, distilleries and breweries permitted to provide indoor service require all persons sitting at a table to be members of the same household. That section also states that customers must wear face coverings at all times while in the facility, including when seated at a table before the meal is served and after the meal is finished, unless they are in the act of consuming food or beverage. Customers dining outdoors may continue to remove masks when seated, despite whether they are in the act of eating or drinking.

Reopened businesses must also post an updated Safe Reopening Plan near the entry of their facility. Restaurants and other eating places permitted to be open must also post a COVID-19 Restaurant Operating Protocol, as well as provide the document to each employee. Any business that fails to prepare and comply with its Safe Reopening Plan or COVID- 19 Restaurant Operating Protocol shall be required to immediately close.

As announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom this past Friday, starting on August 31, San Diego County restaurants, places of worship and movie theaters were permitted to reopen indoor operations, but are only allowed up to 25% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less. Museums, zoos and aquariums are also required not to exceed 25% occupancy. Gyms, dance studios, yoga studios and fitness centers may operate with 10% occupancy. Hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, piercing shops, skin care and cosmetology services and nail salons may operate indoors with normal capacity. Retail businesses are restricted to 50% occupancy. All indoor businesses must still abide by social distancing and face covering mandates.