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Outdoor-dining ban and late-night restrictions: Here are the latest COVID rules for L.A. County

Outside a restaurant, a masked hostess takes a customer's temperature using a forehead thermometer.
Friends dine in Redondo Beach. L.A. County has suspended outdoor dining due to coronavirus surge.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

In the latest effort to slow the unprecedented rise in COVID-19, Los Angeles County officials said outdoor restaurant dining would be temporarily restricted beginning Wednesday.

It’s just the latest in a string of new orders issued in the last week as coronavirus infections have raged.

L.A. County public health officials on Saturday announced they will issue an order suspending outdoor dining at restaurants amid a surge of new coronavirus cases.

Here’s the latest:

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Outdoor dining

  • The county order restricts dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars. “To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services,” the county said in its order. “Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols.”
  • The changes take effect Wednesday at 10 p.m.
  • The rules will be in effect for at least three weeks, depending on whether coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Chefs and restaurateurs react to another shutdown of in-person dining amid L.A. County’s coronavirus surge. “We’re holding on for dear life,” one chef said. “There’s no aid in sight, nothing at all.”

Late-night hours and capacity restrictions

Los Angeles County on Friday ordered restaurants and nonessential stores to close their doors to the public at 10 p.m. and placed a cap on the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings — a maximum of 15 people from no more than three households.

  • For nonessential businesses permitted to operate indoors — including retail stores, offices and personal care services — occupancy will be limited to 25% capacity.
  • The number of patrons at outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries will be limited to 50% of the maximum outdoor capacity.
  • The number of customers at outdoor card rooms, mini-golf, go-carts and batting cages will be limited to 50% of the outdoor capacity.
  • Services at personal care establishments may only be provided by appointment to customers wearing face coverings by staff wearing face coverings. Services that require either the customer or the staff member to remove their face covering, such as facials and shaves, are not permitted. Food and drinks cannot be served to customers at these establishments.
  • Restaurants, breweries, wineries and all other retail businesses deemed nonessential must close their doors to the public from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. But they can continue to offer takeout and delivery service during those hours.
  • L.A. County officials have warned that other public health interventions — including a modified stay-at-home order — will be imposed if cases continue to spike.
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State rules

  • California rules prohibit most nonessential activity outside the home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in counties that fall under the most restrictive, or purple, tier. Activities banned during those hours include all gatherings with members of other households and all activities conducted outside one’s residence, lodging or temporary accommodation with members of other households.
  • People are allowed to leave home to walk their dog or take walks with people they live with, buy groceries or pick up drugs at the pharmacy late at night, pick up or receive takeout food, travel to the emergency room or urgent care, or for other essential purposes.
  • The rules last through Dec. 21, though they could be extended.
  • The state’s order does not apply to people experiencing homelessness. Nothing in the order prevents any number of people from the same household from leaving their residence, lodging or temporary accommodation, as long as they do not engage in any interaction with (or otherwise gather with) any number of people from any other household, except as specifically permitted by the order.
  • The restrictions are different from the statewide stay-at-home order Gov. Gavin Newsom issued in mid-March, in that they focus more on curbing late-night drinking and group gatherings.
  • Californians in the affected counties will still be allowed in the overnight hours to buy groceries, walk the dog, pick up restaurant takeout orders, visit doctors or other healthcare providers and other providers of essential services.
  • The order covers roughly 94% of Californians — 37 million people — who live in counties that are in the purple tier.


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