Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered bars, nightclubs, brewpubs and wineries to close and directed restaurants to cut their capacity in half to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Newsom said bars are a “non-essential function” but restaurants provide nutritious food for those who do not have kitchens and should remain open at 50% capacity. He asked restaurants to space tables at least six feet apart and practice social distancing.
“We need people to be able to pick up food and have food delivered,” he said. “We see it as essential for those individuals that need a paycheck.”
He said he was “not concerned” about enforcing the order because people, businesses and institutions have responded quickly to prior directives on social distancing.
“I think people will get they need to do the right thing,” Newsom said.
Newsom said workers in restaurants who are young and healthy should not fear for their lives due to the virus because it mainly poses a threat to those older than 65 or with health conditions. He ordered the latter groups to self-isolate at home.
He said plans are being developed to ensure seniors and those with health conditions can eat without having to leave their homes.
In Santa Monica, restaurants have asked residents to keep ordering delivery or buy gift cards to use after the coronavirus outbreak abates so they can keep their doors open and pay their workers.
Restaurants are also sanitizing surfaces frequently, installing sanitation stations and removing self-service food and utensils.
Public health officials said Sunday that Los Angeles County has 69 cases of coronavirus, 10 of which resulted from community spread. On Sunday night, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered all restaurants to offer takeout and delivery only and directed bars, gyms and movie theaters to close. The city of Santa Monica ordered restaurants to halt dine-in service Monday morning.