The state public health department on Tuesday detailed the hurdles restaurants must now overcome under the new normal. The new guidance is meant for those counties able to the meet the state’s strict metrics on COVID cases, deaths, testing and other factors before moving to this next stage in reopening their economies. The counties currently include Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Nevada, Placer and Shasta.
“The guidelines we put out provide more flexibility than I believe in some other states,” said Newsom in his daily press briefing. “We decided not to be prescriptive in that perspective.”
Newsom was referring to states that mandate restaurants reduce their capacity by 50%, for example. Instead, the guidance mandates at least six feet of distance between people dining, working and passing through entree ways. When that’s too difficult, partitions must be installed.
The department is also clear that breweries, bars, distilleries and winery tasting rooms will remain closed until later stages in the reopening. Savvy winery managers may circumvent that by contracting with food trucks or other venders. But they must still sell both the alcohol and the meals in the same transaction.
The Wine Institute was worried a reopening of tasting rooms could result in an influx of visitors to wine regions. It is advising wineries to implement appointment-only visits.