During his daily press conference Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state plans to ease its stay-at-home order later on Friday to allow for some curbside retail businesses to reopen, including florists.
This may be a last-minute lifeline for cut flower growers ahead of Mother’s Day weekend. The industry is “teetering on economic devastation,” said the head of the state flower commission in March as the impacts of the lockdown began to sink in. Without more people buying flowers, “farmers, wholesale distributors, retail designers and all the people who work in those businesses cannot survive,” he added.
The industry has been struggling under trade impacts in recent years. Imports from Holland, Ecuador and Colombia have grown to account for about 80% of the U.S. market.
On Thursday, the state will release more details on its “Stage 2” guidelines. Some manufacturing businesses will also be included in the new order. Dine-in restaurants and offices will be part of a separate Stage 2 opening in the coming weeks.
The change in policy comes as a growing number of rural counties with low infection rates have pushed back on the administration, going as far as reopening some businesses. Newsom is now choosing a more diplomatic path in his decision, allowing some regional variation in the reopening, “but only after self-certification of particular criteria” for testing, contact tracing and other health indicators.