On October 8, 2021, Governor Newsom approved three restaurant relief measures. These measures will affect outdoor dining and the ABC license process. All three measures received bipartisan support and were supported by restaurant advocacy groups.
AB 61: Business Pandemic Relief
AB 61 authorizes the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) to permit restaurants to serve alcohol in an expanded license area. The bill would also authorize the ABC to extend the period of time during which the COVID-19 permit is valid beyond 365 days if the licensee has applied ...
Today, October 7, 2021, Los Angeles County Public Health Officer Order’s vaccine requirements go into effect. These requirements were first announced as an executive order of the Public Health Officer and were ratified by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on September 15, 2021.
Under these requirements, proof of vaccination or a negative test result will be required to enter outdoor mega-events, and proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be required to enter or work in indoor portions of bars, lounges, nightclubs, breweries, wineries and distilleries in ...
On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council voted 11-2 to approve a new ordinance that requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, shopping centers, movie theaters, hair and nail salons, and a wide variety of other indoor venues. Grocery stores and pharmacies are not included in the ordinance. If religious or medical exemptions are given to an individual, proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours is needed for the individual to enter an indoor space. The ordinance will go into effect on November 4, 2021.
Because the ordinance ...
On September 29, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council debated a sweeping proof-of-vaccine requirement, with most Councilmembers indicating support. The ordinance will likely be passed upon its second reading next Tuesday.
The ordinance would require customers to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status to enter a wide variety of public spaces, including restaurants, coffee shops, gyms and fitness venues, movie theaters, shopping malls, concert venues and personal care establishments.
The City’s proposed rules would expand Los Angeles County’s existing ...
On September 15, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced that proof of a COVID-19 vaccination will be required at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges in Los Angeles County. This requirement will be announced in a Department of Public Health Order.
The order will recommend, but not require, vaccine verification for employees and customers in indoor portions of restaurants.
The Los Angeles County mandate will also apply to employees of covered establishments and require that both employees and customers have at least one vaccine dose by ...
On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion to require people to have at least one dose of the COVID-10 vaccine before being admitted to public spaces, including restaurants, entertainment venues and retail stores.
The motion states: “the City Council instruct[s] the City Attorney to prepare and present an ordinance that would require eligible individuals to have received at least one dose of vaccination to enter indoor spaces, including but not limited to, restaurants, bars, retail establishments, fitness centers, spas and entertainment ...
On June 17, 2021, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (the Cal/OSHA Board) voted to approve a set of new modified COVID-19-related workplace emergency regulations, found here. The new modified regulations will need to be approved within ten days by the state Office of Administrative Law, which is expected to approve the rules. Governor Newsom has also indicated that he may approve the rules immediately.
These regulations replace more stringent regulations that were inconsistent with the latest guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and ...
On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to establish permanent guidelines for outdoor dining and move from the temporary pandemic authorizations to a long-term plan.
The motion requested several L.A. County agencies to work together to establish permanent Countywide guidelines for expanded options for outdoor dining spaces. This includes new guidelines for public sidewalks, alleys, and private on-site and off-site parking facilities.
The Board also asked those agencies to develop a plan to transition all restaurants that have ...
On June 9, 2021, the California Department of Public Health announced a new face coverings guidance that will go into effect statewide on June 15, 2021. In addition, Governor Newsom’s office announced that on June 15, 2021, California would be fully reopen with no capacity limits or distancing required by the state. The county-by-county color tier system will also be eliminated. However, individual county health departments may continue to impose restrictions under local public health orders.
Under the State’s new guidance, fully vaccinated persons are not required to wear ...
On June 3, 2021, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board approved new modified COVID-19-related emergency regulations. The new modified regulations, which are found here, will need to be approved by the state Office of Administrative Law within ten days. The OAL is expected to approve the rules.
When approved, the new regulations will become effective on June 15, 2021, the same day on which Governor Newsom announced California would reopen. These regulations may be further refined in the coming weeks to take into account changes in circumstances, especially as ...
On May 13, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an expansion of the state’s COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant program from $2.5 billion to $4 billion. The expansion makes California’s business relief grants program the largest in the country.
To date, 198,000 businesses have received grants under the program, for a total of $475,001,244. While the application portal is currently closed, it is expected to reopen after the new grant's funds have been processed. The Governor’s office announced the following initiatives for businesses:
- Estimated $895 ...
On May 17, 2021, California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly, announced that California would begin following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”)’s new guidelines regarding the lifting of mask restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals on June 15, 2021. These new guidelines provide that those who are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus no longer need to wear masks outdoors or in most indoor settings.
After serving as one of the major epicenters for the COVID-19 virus in the United States in the beginning of this ...
On May 12, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council (the “Council”) took the first step towards making the popular L.A. Al Fresco outdoor dining program permanent. The Council voted 14-0 to approve a motion that directs various city agencies to issue reports with recommendations on how to transition the program to permanent status.
The Council instructed the Bureau of Engineering and Los Angeles Department of Transportation to “report in 60 days with recommendations to revise the Sidewalk Dining Program and the People St. Program, as appropriate, to expeditiously transition all ...
On May 13, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) issued new guidance lifting mask restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals. Under the new guidance, people who are fully vaccinated may stop wearing masks or maintaining social distance in most outdoor and indoor settings.
The CDC’s summary of changes states that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and ...
On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department (the “Department”) is expected to issue a new Public Health Officer order to officially move into the least restrictive “yellow tier” of California’s color-coded reopening system. The criteria for entering the yellow tier is less than 2% positivity and fewer than 1 daily new case per 100,000 county residents. The Order would be effective on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
On April 30, 2021, the Department made some modifications to the Public Health Order, lifting hours limitations on bars, breweries and ...
On Monday, April 19, 2021, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his 2021 State of the City speech and announced several initiatives designed to assist restaurants.
The proposals for restaurant relief included in Garcetti’s speech include:
- $25 million program to write Comeback Checks of $5,000 to 5,000 small businesses.
- A proposed ordinance to cut the time for alcohol permit approval for restaurants by 90% and to cut the cost of that permit by 70%.
- Allowing restaurants to defer city fees of $8,000 or more for a three-year period.
- Suspension of valet and off-site parking ...
On April 17, 2021, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (“Department”) revised its protocol for restaurants to permit increased activities in light of the County’s Orange Tier reopening.
The changes include:
- Allowing restaurants to have live outdoor entertainment. Live entertainment operations are allowed outdoors only. Performers must be at least 12 feet away from seated customer groups.
- Allowing restaurants to host private events when the restaurant is not operating for regular business. Private events are subject to a separate protocol and restaurants ...
On April 6, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a plan to lift all COVID-19 virus restrictions by June 15, 2021. The full reopening is contingent on both (1) sufficient vaccine supply to ensure that all Californians age 16 and over who wish to be inoculated are able to do so and (2) stable and low hospitalization rates. The full reopening would mean an official end to California’s color-coded tier system.
It remains unclear what restrictions may remain under the full reopening but Governor Newsom specified that some form of mask mandate will remain. The California ...
Both Los Angeles and Orange County are now eligible to move from the Red Tier into the Orange Tier of COVID-19 reopening guidelines under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
On March 30, 2021, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department announced that while it satisfied the numbers requirement to move into the Orange Tier, it would wait until April 5 to permit businesses to operate at increased capacity.
On April 5, Los Angeles County will officially adopt Orange Tier reopening rules to the Public Health Officer Order. Under these new rules, the following changes will take ...
On March 15, 2021, Los Angeles County officially entered into the state’s Red Tier, permitting restaurants to offer limited capacity indoor dining, and permitting gyms, museums and galleries to open some indoor operations. The County issued several reopening protocols laying out the rules for businesses with the current reopening.
The County’s Department of Public Health issued a revised Public Health Order for Dining Protocols (the “Order”) with new protocols for indoor dining, outdoor dining and worker safety in light of the reopening.
On August 31, 2020, California introduced a statewide blueprint for reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic designed to provide clear guidance and timelines for which industries may safely open.
The new system is color-coded and has four tiers, with Tier 1 being the highest risk of community disease transmission and Tier 4 the lowest risk. The four tiers are based on two factors: (1) the county’s positivity rate; and (2) the daily new cases for each 100,000 residents.
The tiers are outlined below:
- Tier 1 (purple/widespread): higher than 8% testing positivity rate; more than 7 daily ...
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